Here we go again, I thought as I rolled up the last of my son's swaddling blankets and placed them into the storage bin.
I've been here before. Slowly packing away the last few remnants of my son's babyhood as I prepare for the toddler years ahead. But this time stings just a little bit more.
I'm not quite ready to be done having babies. But with two boys already, I know this stage of motherhood will be coming to a close sooner than I'd like. And each time I pack up those bins, the pain is a little bit sharper than it was before.
It serves as a reminder of something I knew was coming, but still did not think could be here already.
The baby is leaving my house once again.
At almost eleven months old, my second little guy is becoming quite the character. The walking, the talking, the attitude—it's all starting to emerge. Coming at me full force.
And while I cannot wait to watch as his little personality begins to shine through, there's a small part of me still stuck in the mourning process. Silently crying out, Wait just a little longer!
But that's not the way life works, is it? Especially for mothers.
Still, why does it hurt so badly when we let go?
I've thought about this a lot actually. And while I cannot be certain, I've come to a pretty strong hypothesis.
Maybe it hurts so much because we give a small part of ourselves to our children the moment they enter our lives. A little piece of our souls, if you will.
As babies they remain close to us. A small extension of our own selves—outside of our bodies but still one with us. But each day brings little more independence. A little more freedom. A little more space.
And as they grow, that's when we start to really feel it. That piece of our own soul traveling further away,
As I closed the bin on those swaddling blankets, I felt that first little tug of extension. My soul still close, but like our own universe, ever expanding.
And just as I do with my oldest son, I know I'll feel it again and again with every passing milestone.
Because the baby is leaving my house once again.
This is only the beginning.