We are in the midst of a changing season, our family. It's hitting me rather suddenly, for which I blame the rapid nature that we started and added to our family. And it's weird and glorious and freeing and sometimes I cry tears of sadness thinking about it. Basically, I'm feeling ALL THE FEELINGS as our home no longer houses a baby.
It was an exciting time, 2010-2013. Always an announcement, anticipation, excitement. A positive test, a gender reveal, she's here!, he's here!, she's here! It was not a season where it was hard to feel gratitude, no indeed. The lives entrusted to our care are a humbling reminder that God is in the business of giving us things we don't deserve.
His grace is glaring, particularly in those three gooey newborn faces. Why was it us who were able to have children easily? Why were we blessed with three lives to shepherd, when our own lives are still so much in the refinement process, when our marriage wasn't perfect and we were prideful and selfish and still are.
I don't know why we've been given these gifts, but not a day passes that I'm not extremely grateful for our little ones - for my ability to conceive them, to birth them without complication, to nurture them and watch them grow. The days are long but the years are short, as the adage goes. And now that we're past the years of babies, I really feel the truth there.
I don't want to be that mother who longs for a time gone by. I want to love every season of motherhood, while looking forward with excitement and looking back with gratitude. But it's hard to be moving out of the season of babies, even if I'm excited for everything the new season of pre-school and school aged children brings (independence! adventures! real conversations with them!).
I don't know what God has for us in the future - if we'll adopt some day, what age the hypothetical child would be, etc. But for now I can say with certainty that the baby years are behind us. We'll shortly be saying goodbye to our trusty crib. The infant car seat, Jolly Jumper, exersaucer, swaddle blankets, and bottles are all long gone. The toy and book piles (and piles!) are thinning out as all the kids are beginning to play with the same things. Our condo feels larger as we've shed the baby gear, if only smaller as their rambunctious bodies grow and grow. While I've always been an advocate for having your children close if you're able, this is one serious drawback; it's over as quick as it began.
I'm so thankful, so excited, so conflicted. Like I said, all the feelings.