When Claire was born Dave made an announcement:
We were done bringing children into the world.
End of story.
Yes, well, he had said that with Elle and Grace too, but this time he sounded really final. Really serious. He was done.
The problem was that right at that moment I was in my newborn rapture stage. You see, when I have a newborn I sink into this baby bliss where no matter how hard I try I cannot soak in that baby enough. The expressions. The curled up body. The breathing. The crying. I love it all. (Dave can vouch for me on that. I go a little crazy....hmmm...maybe that's why he was done.) Right when I have a newborn is when I.W.A.N. hits the most, except at that time it's an acronym for "I Want Another Newborn."
Not that the newborn I am holding isn't enough...quite the contrary. That newborn fills my heart to the very brim. But the thought of my little newborn Claire being the last newborn made me feel like I just got kicked in the stomach. We had to have another one. I had to feel that kicking inside again. I had to have one pregnancy where I knew it was the last. I had to have that closure. I mean, she was number four for crying out loud. And didn't we agree to seven before we got married??
So after a couple years of really trying to be "done" for Dave's sake, realizing I just couldn't do it, and getting on my knees and begging for two whole years, Dave and I made a pact:
If we had one more baby I would really be done. That didn't mean I wouldn't yearn for another one. I would just feel at peace. I promised. And I knew it was right.
So along came Lu.
And when she was born, even though I was prepared, I went through a tough adjustment. Yes, I knew she was my last, and really and truly, I felt at peace. Five was the new seven for me and it felt right. Dave and I, together, felt that our family was complete.
But I held her a little longer than my others. I loved getting up with her when she woke up at night. I watched in awe as my children drank her in with me. There's nothing like having a newborn in your home.
I was really protective of my time with her. I became a little bit anti-social. I just wanted to soak in this baby with all my might.
And I did.
So, fast forward a few years. Because she's my last I envisioned I'd be able to hold onto her for so long. I'd draw out when she'd have to go to school as long as I could. She would be my little partner for so long and we'd go everywhere together.
So, although it's exactly what we prayed for, it seems like there's something wrong with the fact that she started school today.
With sisters who are a little too excited for her:And a whole group of friends following her around before school started. Man, she is loved.
Little did I know that when I planned on clinging on to her for dear life at the end of my baby career, that she'd need more than just me. I hadn't factored into my plan that she would have a syndrome that would be helped immensely by me letting go a little bit, a littler earlier than I was ready.
Although I'm so happy for her because she's going to get so much help there, there's something that seems just plain wrong with with sending a girl to "school" who still sleeps in a crib and who needs to pack along some diapers in her backpack.
But I must keep in mind that it's only for two-and-a-half hours.
I'm excited to have my new plan of getting all my busywork done in those hours so I can really be with my kids at the end of the day. And, surprisingly, I'm ok with the house being quiet as a tomb today as I get some things done.
But it makes me sad that it's the end of an era. I mourn the end of the babyhood in our family. I wish it didn't have to go quite so quick!