Today I packed away diapers to be donated, I changed my last diaper. I never again will change the diaper of my own child. It is a sobering thought. Suddenly, the baby of the family isn’t a baby. He is a big boy in underwear.
I did not realize I would take this so hard. I was excited to be out of the diaper game, excited my kids were becoming independent, and excited to watch how they were growing, but then tiny underwear and bras started showing up in my laundry and heart took a beating. I suddenly realized I was not ready as I thought I was.
I wanted to stop putting baby teeth under pillows, stop the homework game, and stop donating tiny clothes. I want to bask in the scent of a newborn and struggle to find a new normal as I adjust to parenthood, I want to start over. I want my babies back.
But alas they aren’t really ours, are they? They belong to themselves and we are on borrowed time with them, time that seems to shorten every day. We have a responsibility to raise them to do better and be better than we ever imagined we would be.
So, I cry. I cry at the ever-changing season of parenthood I’m currently in. Praying for time to slow down but basking in the time I have now. I’ll spend another morning folding little, tiny underwear knowing soon they’ll outgrow them, and I’ll start the mourning process of their childhood all over again.
Its an amazing experience to raise a child. I am lucky to be raising three. I am in multiple levels of parenthood at same time. But I will never start over, everything I do with my youngest I do for the last time and its heart wrenching but beautiful at the same time. I realize my days of being a parent will never end, but childhood ends, and their needs will differ. I am preparing myself for a future but also enjoying the present.
Here is to you parents. Out here doing things for the last time. Folding your last onesie, making your last bottle, and changing your last diaper. Have a glass of wine on me and bask in it. You have come so far! There is no going back, but there is a grand future ahead of you full of little underwear, school projects, and independence in your children.