Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The End of the Baby Stage

This Saturday, my Mom and I are going to take part in a community yard sale. I thought that it would be a good way to clear out the basement and get things a little more organized. What is the source of the clutter? Baby gear and a lot of it. I have to admit that while Mike and I are very sure that our family of four is complete, I can't help but feel a little sad to see some of the things go. Weren't we just picking this stuff out when we were expecting Aaron?

As I sort through all of the stuff, I am overwhelmed by so many memories of both Aaron and Elyse. For example, there is the sleep positioner that Aaron used when he first came home from the hospital. His entire body fit on that little pillow, but to look at it now it's hard to believe that he was ever so small. Or the red, white, and black baby gym that kept Elyse so entertained. It was one of the first things that she played with, and she loved the little white bear with the black circle on his belly. So many things that, at the time, seemed indispensable. Things that we could never live without are now sitting in the basement collecting dust, completely unused.

Touching these things again took me back in time to the days when I was still carrying Aaron and tried desperately to imagine what it would be like once he came, but would never fully understand until he was here. Back to the early days with him when I wasn't sure if I could handle this awesome responsibility, and when I lived hour to hour, and sometimes minute to minute just to get through. I can see Aaron and I in the basement cleaning the baby swing in preparation for Elyse's arrival and talking with him about what it would be like to be a big brother. I can feel the weight of Elyse's baby sling as I walked with her, trying to ease her to sleep, and I can see both of them at four months old playing in the exersaucer while I marveled at how much they had changed in just four months.

It is so hard to look at these things and know that there won't be another one of our babies to use them, even though I know we are both done with the baby phase. I guess it's so difficult because I am so sure that it is time to close this chapter in our lives. Maybe if we weren't certain, and were hanging on to some things just in case, it might be easier to let some things go, even if down the road we never did have another baby. But oddly it's the knowing with my whole heart that we are done that has been the hardest to accept.

Four and a half years have flown by so quickly, but at the time it seemed like we would be in the baby phase forever. In a few short weeks, Aaron is going to start preschool, and Elyse is exploding with new developments everyday. While I am sad that we are done with the baby stage, I am so excited to see where we are going to go from here. I can only imagine the memories we have yet to create.


Leslie said...

It's hard to let go. When I think of Julia going to Kindergarten, I get sad because I liked this part - the part where she is home all day and needs me so much. But I'm looking forward to what's ahead, too. I'll always look back on these early years fondly and envy the mothers sitting in the thick of it.