Is it possible that he was born only five short years ago? I feel like we’ve known him forever, always a part of us and our family. It’s like that for me with all our children. That feeling that once they arrived, they had always been here. And yet it doesn’t seem possible that five full years have gone by since the wee hours of the morning when we welcomed him into our arms.
At five he has completely entered the world of boy, no toddler traces remain. Knowing that he is my last baby has been bittersweet. The days have gone by so fast and no matter how hard I try to slow them down they keep moving onward. Gone completely are the days of nursing and diapers and teething and squeezing in naps. I will miss them. But he still often snuggles with us at night, craving the warmth and safety he finds between my husband and I, and I cherish those night time cuddles even at the same time as I long for a full night’s sleep.
Silas’s birthday also signals another anniversary as it was only three short days after his birth that our second oldest child left home for school in Florida. (I don’t think I will ever be able to put into words the emotions of that week.) And so, with the celebration of a birthday is a reminder of how quickly the time goes by that we get to claim our children wholly as our own. Once they leave, they stretch and grow and change, and while still ours, they become completely themselves. It’s beautiful to watch, but it tugs on a mama’s heart so. The blessing is in knowing that it is right and good for them to leave, but the missing will still continue.
I’m grateful for knowing just how fleeting the children-at-home parenting years are. I didn’t know this with our oldest two children. Oh, I was told by many mothers who were older and wiser than I, and I tried to listen to them, but it isn’t until you’ve experienced a thing that you fully understand. I understand so very well now. And I enjoy all the lovely laughing moments with each of my babies still at home even more for it.