The End of an Era

Today is it.

Today is the last day that I will have a two-year old underfoot; tomorrow, little Tom (the toddler formerly known as Sir Screamsalot) turns three.

Three.

I can hardly wrap my mind around it.

Time has blinked by in a flurry of life changes: new job, selling one house, buying another, new town, new church, new schools, new friends. We've faced so many challenges - small and large - since we brought baby Tom home from the hospital that the memory of his early months seems like a hazy dream sequence when I try to recapture it.

As a young mother with Becky, and then with Huck a mere twenty-one months later, I heard from so many moms whose children were older to savor the simple time in which I found myself.

I'd nod, usually distracted by someone's increasingly stinky diaper or the fast-break of a toddler hell-bent on running head-first into a busy parking lot, and say, "Mmmmhmmm."

{Simple time, I'd think to myself. Riiiight.}

And while I had brief moments where I felt time standing still just for me so that my mind could take a photograph of a moment that threatened to slip away into the busy ( the last time I nursed Huck; Becky walking for the first time helped by our dog Barnum; Tom rolling -- not crawling -- laps around the first floor of our last house), so many more moments have evaporated or become condensed into a Greatest Hits version of my children's early years.

It's hard not to be sad as I stand straddling this precipice between babies and big kids. I'm thirty-five now and this is likely to be the end of the crib and rattle years for me.

There is a freedom in this, yes.

But there is also a sense of loss.

So today, I'm going to love my little guy and scoop him up in my arms and swing him around into a giant hug.

Because I can.

And because he's still my baby for a little while longer.

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