Golden Era

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I have spent near a decade either birthing babies or breastfeeding them.  I have been pregnant so many times that I am not sure if my mismatched food combinations and tendencies toward irritability are from hormone level fluctuations or my actual personality.  I have not had my body to myself in enough years that I still think twice before taking any medication or consuming slices of deli meat.

They say you know when your family is complete.  And I have to agree.  I always felt like someone was missing… until our fifth arrived.  They all look familiar – maybe it is because they have our features- or maybe because we know them.

Complete or not, it is hard to admit that you are ‘done’.  The anticipation of bringing new life into the world was exciting.  Having felt their movements in my pregnant belly was awe-inspiring.  Growing a family has been priceless.  The birth of one of our children was always an amazing event.

Closing the chapter on child bearing and opening the door to child rearing is as exhilarating as it is terrifying.  We are raising five miniature people who will one day lead their own lives.

Case and point:

My six year old recently refused the offering of my hand in a parking lot.  She shook her head and said,

“It’s okay mom.  I got this.” 

My heart fluttered.

Her beautiful confidence gave me a sense of pride.  Her all too quickly appearing independence brought a pang of sadness.  We are now at a turning point.  We will no longer be bringing babies home.

We are entering a stage where 2 am feedings are not as prominent.  We are not at the mercy of a newborn napping schedule.

My maternity clothes are officially retired; no more saving them for the ‘next one’.  Each baby piece that #5 outgrows becomes a second hand resale item.

Her ‘firsts’ being my ‘lasts’.

I may not have another newborn who will quietly sleep on my chest while the angels whisper and a smile crosses his/her beautiful face; but I have a little girl who gives me her hand as she hops out of the car {bouncy curls and all} and tells me:

“I lo-oooo-ve doe-ing home.”

I have a son who is as in awe of the heavens as his mother; where we spend time on warmer evenings and sometimes cooler ones bundled in blankets staring at the stars.

I find myself begging for time to pause.  Each week faster than the last.  I am watching my kids become less an extension of me and my husband and more an individual in their own right.  It is amazing and devastating.

The tide is shifting.

I hope to do right by these little loves.  I hope they know that the significance of these seemingly small moments is not lost on their momma.  I hope they know that when they are ready to make their own way, I will let them.  I will take their hand for as long as they will let me. I hope they know that I will always offer it, even when they no longer need it.

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