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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

That Old Familiar Ache

Well, it's happening. That sometimes dull, sometimes peircing ache in the pit of my stomach is back. Dear Son is approaching due time to be put to bed in his crib in his own room and I have been putting it off. I just want to hang on a little longer!

A year ago I wrote a post describing the difficult time I had transfering Dear Daughter from her bassinet beside my bed to her crib in her own room. She, on the other hand, made the transition just fine and never had a problem with it.

Dear Son only ever slept a few nights in the bassinet. For some reason in the earliest days of his life he tended to wake up in the night more frequently than when we put him between us in our bed in his snuggle nest. It may have been coincidence, but I was desperate for sleep, so I just did what worked best. He's been in his snuggle nest ever since and seems to be fast outgrowing it. As much as I would like my bed back, I also love to be able to have him right next to me where I can peek at him and listen to his breathing and baby sighs in the middle of the night.

And so I am bracing myself for that heart breaking move to his own bed that signals one of his first steps of independence in life. Sigh. Tomorrow he'll be headed off to college. Even as I hold him in one arm right now and type with my other, I look at his precious sleeping face...his perfectly smooth baby skin, chubby cheeks, puckered little lips, button nose, and I hear his content baby sighs and inhale his precious baby scent. These moments pull my heart in so many different directions. When I refuse to think past the present, it's a euphoric Mommy's high that only another Mommy could possibly relate to. It's emotionally intoxicating and dripping with love and devotion that words simply cannot capture. Then if my thoughts dare wander ahead, it's the realization that when each moment like this passes, it's gone forever. Soon I see in my mind's eye images of Dear Son sitting up, crawling, walking, running, talking. Then Kindergarten, High School graduation, college...faster and faster the images fly by. The milestones that mark growing up are so full of Mommy pride and Mommy joy--and that old familiar ache. Oh, if only I could somehow box up those precious moments to preserve them forever. I would stack them in the closet and pull one out every now and then to revisit what Time so cruelly steals away.

Yes, soon it will be time for Dear Son to spend the nights in his own bed. And I linger and fight to hold on, knowing that as each phase of Dear Son's life passes, it will be gone forever.

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