I don’t have a baby in my home. We’ve gotten used to babies. Nine and a half years of babies. When Lauren was still a baby, Rachel was born. While Rachel was still a baby, Caleb was born. And on and on, down the line. Now, Griffin is almost 2. Almost 2. He’s walking and trying to talk. He’s not a baby. He’s a toddler. He’s my only one in diapers, the only one who needs his food cut up in tiny bites. But he’s not a baby.
Griffin doesn’t need sweet, tiny baby clothes that you use the special laundry soap for. We’ve just boxed those up.
He doesn’t need that cute little baby seat that is also a portable bassinet. The one with tiny Winnie the Poohs all over it that wobble when it vibrates. We’re giving that away.
The receiving blankets and booties and stretchy knit caps. All boxed up to be given away. The breast pump and attachments will go on ebay. All those little rattles and floor gyms and fun activity blankets are going to Goodwill or the Caring Pregnancy Center or my friend who’s having a baby.
We folded up our high chair yesterday. Griffin sat at the big table in a booster seat, joining the rest of the family in an unbroken, tight circle. I cried. It’s quite something to see all of our family sitting around the same table, knowing that tight circle is complete now. Our olive branches winding around our table, I thought as I watched them find their places and sit down. And I cried because I will miss the high chair and all it represents.
I will miss the double stroller and having two in diapers. I’ll even miss the burp cloths. I will miss the cute Mickey Mouse slippers that fit on teeny-tiny feet. And I’ll miss the bassinet attachment for the Pack ‘N Play. The bouncy seats and infant car seat and traveling with all your own miniature furniture that one little person amazingly requires. I’ll miss all that.
We’re moving on to the next season in our lives. A season of toddlers and big kids, of learning to talk and learning to tie your shoe and learning to wipe yourself on the potty. A season of riding two-wheelers and going to school and playing soccer. A season of everyone walking and only taking one tiny umbrella stroller for when little feet get tired. A season of having only two children home during the mornings, of a quieter and emptier home.
It is right, and I know God has brought us to this season of life. But this new life of mine does feel strange, unfamiliar, like a jacket I need to grow into. I sure will miss all the baby stuff and the hope they held for the next baby, the one we could be expecting at any moment. There will be no more babies, no more maternity clothes, no more wandering if I’ll be holding a newborn at this time next year. We are a complete circle now, the eight of us, a perfect snug fit around our table.