“You’re gonna miss this.”
I can’t tell you how many well-intentioned mamas told me that.
Every time I walked into a grocery store with my arms full of babies and diapers and snot.
Every time I snuck into the church nursery with my screaming newborn.
Every time I let out an exhausted sigh when I couldn’t get the baby to latch under that dadgum nursing cover.
“You’re gonna miss this, someday.”
And I tried to believe it. I thought, I can’t imagine that I’ll miss this . . . but everyone says I will, so I suppose I will. I assumed that one day I’d forget how hard those first few months were, with the sleepless nights, the acid-reflux, the gas, the thousands of loads of spit-up-covered laundry, the tension between two sleep-deprived spouses.
I remember thinking in the midst of one midnight wake-up, while the third and final infant fought sleep and I fought back tears, I can’t wait until he can just tell me what’s wrong. I hate the baby stage. And then I remember chiding myself, Don’t wish these months away. You’ll miss it someday.
Well. I’m here to tell you, friends. Nope.
I didn’t forget. And I don’t miss it. Not one bit.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m glad I went through it. I wouldn’t wish it away, because the bonds I fused with each of my kids during those first 12 months make all the difference in who we are now, both together and separately. I would take all the midnight trips to the ER, all the doses of gas drops, all the cries through the baby monitor, because I know they formed a trust, an abiding love between us that can’t be undone.
And there were also a lot of things about that first year I loved. Like the sweet snuggles and the crossed-eyes. I loved all the firsts: the first latch, the first smile, the first solid food that inevitably found its way into ears and nostrils and belly buttons. I loved when they were small enough to be wrapped up against me, their very favorite place to be, and I could feel their tiny fingers scratch against my chest. I especially loved those first few weeks when they were still “the best baby ever” and rarely cried and slept so much I started wondering if something was wrong.
Sure, I loved parts of it. But do I miss it? Heck to the no.
Because I LOVE the stage we are in now.
I love telling them to go put their shoes on and watching them actually do it.
I love telling them to go play outside and not having to supervise.
I love that they have actual words in their mouths that can explain what it is they are crying about.
I love not worrying about the “Not For Children Under Two” label.
I love telling them to get in the car and not having to buckle a single seatbelt, other than my own.
I love listening to them learn to read and ask questions about God and cars and rain and basically every single thing in sight.
I love this stage.
So yes. This stage I will miss. I’ll miss it so much.
But that baby stage? Sorry guys. I don’t miss it one bit.