Yesterday I put my son down to bed at the same time we’ve been doing for the past few months. Normally I give this honor to my husband because of the huge fuss it normally kicks up when mom is involved because we both know I have no resolve whatsoever whenever my son hits me with those big brown eyes and fake cries.
But yesterday I was mildly surprised…. he didn’t make a single peep, I laid him down on his side and covered him up with his blanket and he closed his eyes and drifted right off to sleep… no muss no fuss not even a single grunt of protest.
I walked out of the room, closing the door silently behind me so as not to disturb this strange phenomenon, no sooner had I closed the door before I realized I was the one who was crying.
But why? I’m sure one can imagine any other number of reactions save for crying…. I was crushed. I walked right into the kitchen and into my husband and proceeded to sob for about 15 minutes. He tried assuring me that it wasn’t that he didn’t love me or need me anymore but that we had finally done what we’d been working so hard towards.
I was so devastated that my co-sleeping days were over among other things I couldn’t see it that way. He’s learning to eat on his own, talking, walking and now sleeping just fine without needing any help or extra attention from mommy. As happy as I am that he’s doing all of these things it is simply going far too fast for my liking.
Those newborn days fly by, the teetering stage of learning to rest on bellies and forearms quickly gives way to sitting up assisted and then unassisted. Babbling and laughter turns into words and curiosity grows so quickly it speeds right into exploration, crawling is something new and exciting, chasing after mommy from room to room to slipping off after big sissy in another room and giving mommy a mini heart attack.
I was crying because I hadn’t taken enough pictures or videos, and because soon he’d run away from me, he’ll crash into the kitchen with some crazy story and turn his nose up at vegetables that he used to smush into his hair and all over his face.
I keep touching on how fast he’s growing up and changing but I’m not prepared, he’s still that little 7lb smushed faced baby I had 11 months ago…. and 11 months seems an awful lot like YESTERDAY. But truthfully it was NOT yesterday and I need to accept that he is going to grow up even if I don’t want him too.
My husband handled it like a champ, I can honestly say that I do NOT cry often but when I do it’s usually something pretty serious or I’m hurt. Once he realized what was going on he ‘humored’ me out of it. Making me laugh comes naturally to him.
Talking me down through a series of very unlikely scenarios and me being that crazy mom who moves to her child’s college town and then becomes his neighbor brought me back to the pride I was supposed to feel that my child was peacefully and comfortably transitioning to sleeping in his own room.
Later (admittedly after a too large glass of wine) I’d realize how lucky I was. A lot of people struggle with this stage, I was expecting a bigger fight but from the very beginning Jae has taken to anything new with surprising quickness/willingness. I wasn’t sure why this transition hit me harder than the others, why THIS was the straw that broke the camels back.
I think the moment it truly started hitting me was his sippy cup before bed, he was curled up in my arms happily having his bedtime snack and I could only marvel at how big he’d gotten, his facial expressions. The fact that he KNEW it was bedtime and this was the last ritual of the night before sleeping.
For a few moments after he finished his snack he just laid in my arms, my arms that could no longer hold him all swaddled up, my chest that was too short to sleep on without turning into odd angles. His little hands gently patting my face and sleepily mumbling baby nothings to me.
There is no greater joy than holding your child, no matter how big he gets, or how quickly, I will always love holding him. Snuggling him and kissing those chunky cheeks! Playing peek a boo. I am blessed, I hope he continues to transition easily into things…. I just think I may have one or two more mini mommy breakdowns when that happens.