I have a confession to make.
I am a Bad Mommy.
I want my children to stop growing up. All three of them. Stop growing up, stop not needing me so much, stop sleeping in your own bed rather than snuggling with me. Stop learning to walk and having friends who you would prefer to spend weekends with. Stop having sleepovers and being able to feed yourself. Stop. Just please stop.
Every year on birthdays, I cry. Not in front of the kids, but into my husband’s chest. He reassures me by rubbing my back, kissing the top of my head and chuckling a little while he tells me that it will be okay. Another year of milestones have gone by, vacations have been had, snuggling has been done, books have been read, tickle fights and giggles, tears, bumps and bruises. They are all gone, and these photographs and my memories are all I have of them.
My mother told me a long time ago in the middle of an angry conversation (in which I am pretty sure I professed my teenage-hatred towards her) that one day, when I had kids of my own, I would understand how she felt.
I get it now, I really do. Our sweet little boy (who will be the last baby in our family) turned One this month. It is still strange to tell people that he is a year old. Weren’t we just headed to the hospital to have him a few weeks ago? Wasn’t I snuggling his newborn self, counting all of his fingers and toes (to make sure they were all there) not all that long ago?
(the best way to eat a cake, ever)
Please, please stop growing up so quickly. It is breaking my heart. We don’t have a baby anymore, we have a toddler. An adorable toddler who can walk (and practically runs these days) and laugh at his hysterical sisters. A toddler with six teeth and a smile that lights up a room.
I was tickling Levi while we were shopping in a store last week. An elderly woman looked over at me and said “Enjoy it while it lasts, because eventually they leave you”. I smiled at her, walked out of the store, buckled the baby in, sat in the front seat and burst into tears.
I am not a Bad Mommy because I don’t love them, I am a Bad Mommy because I (very selfishly) do. That might only make sense to me, but that’s okay. These days, most things do.