Bottling Memories

Sometimes I get sad. Things like seeing a new baby, walking through the toddler boys department at a clothing store, or sealing up a box of hand-me-downs that no longer fit L can bring a lump to my throat and a mist to my eye. My babies aren’t babies any more, and sometimes that makes me sad.

Don’t misunderstand. I don’t want another baby, and I love my big kids. At the zoo this past weekend, I relished being baby free. We had great discussions about the animals, they noticed things and shared them with us, they ran and jumped and played. WE HAD NO STROLLER! And while the kids were big enough to understand and enjoy the zoo creatures, they were still small enough to not notice the howler monkey getting wild with himself. Monkeying with himself. Putting on a show. Fine, fine. I’m done. (That’s what he said.)

Babies can’t ride bears.

The Doctor and I agreed it was an awesome day at the zoo with our big kids. I wish I could bottle that day and bring it out when my kids are really big. When they are spending more time with their friends than with us. When they stop asking for a snuggle when they are blue. When they are driving, going to college, getting married.

Graham at 12 months

If that were possible, I would put our zoo bottle on the shelf with the bottles that contained other experiences. Middle of the night nursing sessions, first wobbly steps, lazy mornings when the entire family was in our bed. The way Graham used to call Lily “Baby Geel.” He couldn’t say girl, so it was “Baby Geel make noise” or “Baby Geel wook at me.” The weight of a sleeping baby on my shoulder, or a tiny hand wrapped around my finger.

4 month old Lily 

I love my big kids, but I miss my babies. I’m going to have to remember to bottle these memories on the shelf of my mind. It’s probably less cluttered than my house anyway. They’ll be easier to find.

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