It was a breathless ride.
Last Tuesday Ashlynn finally expressed a sincere interest in potty training. Not that I haven’t introduced her to the idea or even tried it a time or two for a couple of days, with zero success, but last Tuesday it was as though a light was switched and she finally “got” it. We’ve had a few accidents, but overall, I’m impressed with her determination.
Then over the weekend, Devyn spent the day shopping and lunching with my mom and sister, where she dropped some hints that she should use some new jeans. (I’m not going to lie, she has her nana and auntie wrapped around her fingers.) After trying on a few pairs, it was determined that my girl is now wearing a size ten jeans. Size 10!!!
And today we tore down the crib and put a twin bed in its place. As Ashlynn slept her first nap in the new bed, I took the crib to the garage and set it against the wall. The same crib that kept all of my babies is now sitting in a cold garage and is awaiting a trip to either Goodwill or the dump.
And I’m sad. Nostalgic. Maudlin.
In the blink of an eye, it happened. They’ve grown up. And yes, it’s happened over the span of nine years, but all of these events are tangible evidence that we’ve left the baby stage behind and are coasting into this next phase of our life. Gone are the diapers, the crib, and the single digit sizes. And yes, in its place are new experiences, new freedoms, and new frontiers yet unexplored.
But for a moment, I want to sit with my knees drawn up to my chest, my head resting against the cement wall, and stare at that crib and remember all of the beautiful moments we experienced as new parents, as a young couple with pint-sized Littles. I want to remember all of the doubts and fears as we brought each of them home, one by one. It does something to a mother’s heart when she knows that a tangible piece of her youth, a reminder of her days as a young mother, is going to sit and gather dust. It brings an ache so bittersweet, I can feel each heart beat and indrawn breath. Time is marching on…
Don’t get me wrong, most days I’m enjoying this new stage. The sledding trip we took last Monday wouldn’t have happened with a newborn or infant. The trips to go hiking and swimming would’ve been reduced to wading pools in the backyard and a walk around the block. I’m finding joy in these new experiences, and I’m thankful for the new memories we’re creating.
But for just a moment, this moment, let me mourn the end of an era. It was beautiful and hard, treasured and messy. An exquisite tension between some of the most cherished memories of my life and some I’d rather forget. It was a breathless ride, and one I’m sad to see come to an end.