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He’s five nowmy baby, the third of my three children. I feel like I’ve taken the time to enjoy each stage, but no matter how much I try to savor, it still seems to go too fast. Like grains of sand slipping through my fingersif I try to hold on too tightly, the years just seem to escape faster.

We were sitting in church this morning. He had asked to sit in church with mom and dad instead of going to children’s Sunday school.

And we let him.

He’s gone from a squirmy toddler to a little boy who can sit still for the length of the service—as long as he has a few fruit snacks and a little reading material. He started out sitting in his own chair, like the big boy he so often claims to be. As the service went on, with his fruit snacks already consumed, he crept closer and closer to me.

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Soon, he was sitting in my lap. Twirling my hair, snuggling his head to my chest, and every once in a while, sneaking a peek up to me and grinning that mischievous smile—the one that gets him in trouble yet simultaneously melts the heart.

And all at once, I realized it. I could feel it. And that raw feeling shot straight to my core.

He’s outgrowing my lap.

His ever-stretching legs, his filled-out tummy, and his lanky arms, that full head of hairno longer can he tuck himself so neatly into my lap. Now he’s spilling over on all sides.

When I stand up to sing and he wants to be held, I pick him up with a smile but his dangling legs are nearly to the floor it seems. I can’t hold him the whole time without shifting the weight.

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It may look silly, to the onlooker—a petite mama still holding her son on her hip.

But I don’t care—I’ll hold him as long as I can.

I know the time is creeping ever closer when he won’t want to be held by mama anymore, and to be honest, I probably won’t be physically able to carry him then anyway.

But for now, I will hold my growing boy and try to capture this moment forever.

You might outgrow my lap, sweet boy, but you’ll never outgrow my heart.

Amanda Crumrine

Amanda lives in rural Missouri with her husband David and their 5-year-old twins Fred and Abigail, and a 3-year-old Everett. She is a freelance writer and the director of early childhood ministry at Madison Park Christian Church. When she’s not driving the family minivan (lovingly called by her husband “the gypsy wagon”) to playdates or preschool, Amanda enjoys group fitness and camping.

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