One of the confounding things about babies is that they get bigger. And, unbelievably, louder. And much more mobile. And suddenly, instead of a sleepy little person you can carry hands-free, you have a little person running away from you at the garden center, squealing at the top of her voice, and unable to contain her laughter when you catch her up in your arms a few seconds later.
My baby isn’t much of a baby any more. She’s not even two yet, but she is totally her own person. “I do!” or “No wanna!” fill our days where only gummy smiles used to reign.
Suddenly, her cooperation is key if I want to leave the house on time and with her wearing pants. Otherwise, we’re running five minutes late, and someone is usually screaming/wailing in misery. I’ll be honest, sometimes it’s me.
But still? Despite that? She makes me want to have more.
I blame being tired, and that my memory has gotten fuzzy. I’m seeing pregnant women everywhere. I get distracted seeing a baby commercial on the tv, and end up thinking about little baby hands, and little baby feet, and the clean new smell. And instead of running away in fear, or shaking my head in sympathy for the new parents-to-be, I’m wondering what having another little person around would be like. I wonder if it will have Brisket’s hair, or my love of jelly beans. I wonder what Li would be like as a big sister.
But my real hesitation in having another baby? You know, besides the crying and the sleepless nights?
The real problem is that every day Li’s growing a little bit away from me. Because every day it seems like her pants are just a bit shorter than the day before. Every day, she’s able to do something new, or say something new, or imitate me in a way she had never imitated me before. The things she finds funny or thrilling are glimpses of me and Brisket, but completely all her.
It’s an amazing thing to witness, but I also know that for the rest of my life, she’ll have my heart. I’ll never go another day of my life without knowing that a little piece of me will soon be flying out into the big, big world, having her own experiences and her own heartbreaks. I can’t stop, or more accurately, shouldn’t stop that from happening. Even though I want to.
Babies are designed to get bigger and more independent. And it would be another piece of my heart flying away.
Why did no one tell me this?