Ooh, my youngest.
He is still a baby.
I mean, he might be seven now, but in my head and my heart he is still a baby.
He’s gotten to grow up slower than his brothers. But somehow, it seems, that he has also had to grow up faster.
He learned to make his own sandwich entirely too young. And was riding a bike at three—he knew that was the only way to keep up with the rest of us.
While my oldest had all my attention as a child, this sweet youngest kid has had my split attention.
His life has been one of hand-me-downs, missed baby books, and finally making the family pictures hung on the wall entirely too late.
Instead of watching Mickey Mouse or Paw Patrol, he was jumping straight in to The Sandlot and Star Wars.
His naps have always been interrupted, his bedtimes have been neglected, he’s spent hours watching baseball games and listening to screechy instrument practice.
His schedule has revolved around his siblings. For his whole life.
He has had to grow up faster.
But oh, they say youngest kids are spoiled.
And that couldn’t be more true.
This sweet youngest, oh he is spoiled.
He’s cute and he knows it. He is loved and he knows it . . . and he knows how to play that game.
But I also think youngest kids are spoiled because their mommas know.
Their momma knows the lasts are real this time around.
That last time to see a milk coma smile is truly the last. So we cling to it.
“Rock me, Momma,” could be the last time we hear that phrase from one of our babies. So we rock them longer.
We want the snuggles to last longer, we want to keep feeling like they need us, for our hugs and kisses to still help their hurts, and to keep them happy by loving them so hard.
And so we continue pouring the cup of milk and tying those shoes or letting them in our bed and kissing those sweet cheeks.
Just one more time.
Because soon, that time will be gone, and when it’s gone with the youngest, it’s gone forever.
Oh yes, I know why youngest children might be spoiled.
It’s because their mommas are holding on tight to all the “lasts” they know they will never experience again.
And it’s also because their mommas know that in some ways these babies have had to grow up a lot faster than their siblings, so spoiling them a little is one way we can make up for it.
And I, for one, don’t regret one bit of spoiling that I know I’ll do for this last baby of mine.
I feel like he deserves it.
And I think my heart may need it, too.
Originally published on My House Full of Boys