Babies Don’t Keep

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Everyone says that “time flies” and they “grow up before you know it“… I usually just agree, and that’s that, but not this time.  I can see it happening.  It seems as if our fourth child was just born yesterday…  Where has the time gone?  Where did that baby girl go?

I feel like our first son was just heading off to Kindergarten.   I can remember how he held onto the door frame when I walked him in on that first day, and now he barely turns around as I drop him off for fifth grade.

I think that we get so caught up in it all (errands, cleaning, running from this sport to that sport, grocery shopping, cooking…) that we don’t even realize how fast time is going by.   While I am excited for our kids to be the age that they are: independent, responsible, and able to do so much…  at the same time, I can’t believe how much they have grown.

I can remember lying with our babies, when they were babies, for hours on end.  We would just lay there, nose to nose, as I listened to them breathe, taking in that little milky smell- you know the one- the scent that only a mother can appreciate and love.

I remember with our first son… I held onto his tiny five-pound ‘preemie’ body and promised God that I would love him forever.   Where did that time go?   Skip forward 13 years (in what seemed like a minute)… we now have a teenage son.  He has become precisely what I knew he could be… smart, witty, handsome, respectful, and the best big brother!  I am sad to think of the years that are gone but proud of the young man he has become.

Now he is having fun with his friends and his sports.  All things that are fun for him, all things that pull him just a little further from me.  He still asks me to stay and talk to him when I tuck him in at night, but I know that this time will pass and I need to enjoy it now, before the time elapses again, without me knowing.

Tonight, I watch him sleep, and I think that I am blessed to be his Mom.

Our second son is growing by leaps and bounds.   When he was born at only four pounds, I held him thinking that I had never held anyone so small.  He needed my protection more than ever. I exclusively pumped because he couldn’t nurse well enough at the start of life.  We spent countless hours doing ‘kangaroo care’ because it was proven to help babies grow.  When we learned that he had suffered some problems during our pregnancy that led to his hypertonicity and was unsure of what his future would hold, we grew to love him even more.

As my Mom says, ‘You hear people saying that they don’t care what gender their baby is, as long as it’s healthy,  but that doesn’t matter, either. ”  It’s when your baby is sick that your ‘fight’ for your child kicks in and your love grows more than you knew it could. Thankfully, he has beat all of the odds and is the most amazing person.  Thankfully, God allowed me to be his mom.

Our love for him has always been as wide as the seas and as endless as a circle.   I believe, wholeheartedly, that God put him in our lives for a reason.  I watch him now… so creative!
He spends hours in the garage, building shelves for his sister’s playhouse, stools for his (short) mom to reach things, fixing things that I’ve broken…  I watch him laugh with his brothers and carry his sister around when she tells him that her “legs are SO tired of walking.”  🙂

Tonight, I watch him sleep, and I think that I am blessed to be his Mom.

Our third son’s life seems to have flown by.  He is full of energy!  His sweet spirit is so full of goodness.  When he was a baby, I was already in the middle of being a Mom, and he was pulled right into our fun & busy life.  I didn’t have a chance just to hold him and study him all day long..  not the way that you do when you have your first baby and all the time in the world to stare at that baby.

He and I had to steal our moments together when we could.  A play session here and a snuggle session there…  a lullaby and book before bed.   He went through his first few years on the hip of his mom… as I ran here & there with that sweet boy at my side.

He looks up at me after I tuck him in, from his bed, with those beautiful baby blues and says “Mom?  Can I have one more hug?”   We just lie down in his bed and hang out… talking about school and friends.

He reads to me and answers all of my “teacher” comprehension questions afterward, with an “I’ve got this in the bag” attitude… and he does.  He’s so bright.

When we snuggle at night, he puts his arm around me, holding me so tight so I can’t sneak away too soon.   If I move, even an inch, he holds me a little tighter, until I tell him “Good night, my sweet boy… I love you.” and sneak away to go tuck in his brothers or sister.

Tonight, I watch him sleep, and I think that I am blessed to be his Mom.

And our baby girl… who’s not a baby anymore, but really always will be MY baby…  I prayed for her.  She will always hold a special place in my heart.   When I was pregnant with each of our children, my Grandma (now passed) would say, “One day you will have a daughter, my Beautiful Beck.  There is something special between a Mom & her daughter.”

(I know this from my experience with my own Mom).  Our baby was born after my Grandma passed, which let me know that we always had someone else watching out for her. ♥


When I look at our daughter now,  I wonder where this time went.    She is independent, funny, and smart.  She is growing up so fast and I am not ready for that.   She is sweet, caring, and has a fierce sense of style. 😉  She loves to sit with me and let me hold her as long as I want to.   She loves to play & dance with me. I hope that lasts…   Allie of Mine.

When I sing her our songs at night, I think about how fast time has gone for all of our little ones…  🎶

“Allie of mine, don’t you cry
Allie of mine, dry your eyes
Rest your head close to my heart
Never to part
Allie of mine.”

Tonight, I watch her sleep, and I think that I am blessed to be her Mom.

I cry to think that my babies aren’t babies anymore.   It’s hard to think that my sweet baby boys are well on their way to being kind, caring young men…

In the midst of raising kids, do we forget to focus on every day?   These years have passed so quickly.  Wasn’t I just in the hospital with my parents and my husband’s parents waiting, so eager to meet our babies?  How did the time pass so fast, even though I knew our fourth baby would be our last baby?   How did they grow up without me realizing it?  How did it happen so fast?

It’s hard to remember how our time with our children goes so fast, but it does…    We only have 18 years with them until they are off, only 18 summers, 18 winters, and 18 birthdays.   Make the most of these moments because they seem to be going faster than we realized.

For now, I will soak up these moments:

I will let them get messywatch them do their silly dancesleave the dinner table a mess (sometimes)so that I can enjoy a walk with them before bed (my Grandma taught me that one)have ‘stay at home days’have our special nightslet them have sleepovers in each other’s rooms and stay up an hour later laughing about things that they don’t think I can hearwear their costumes to the storeWatch them play and laugh and growwrite down their stories and their cute little commentstake as many hugs and kisses as I can get… even if it is only so that they can delay their bedtime for five more minutes…

And so- my darling children… I promise not to miss a moment even while being caught up in the midst of wiping up messes, changing sheets, finding lost shoes, cleaning up toys,  running grocery store errands and doing homework with you.  I’ll try to soak up every minute because as I’ve learned, children and babies don’t keep.

Time is passing us by, right now, whether we are watching it or not… 

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
E
mpty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
S
ew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, Rockabye, lullaby, loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard, there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, Rockabye, lullaby loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
~Ruth Hamilton


Ps- Check out these one-on-one cards as a way to start connecting with your children on a daily basis.

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“Mommy- will you lay with me?” 

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