Today he went off to college. My baby went off to college. He’s getting married soon, and then he really won’t be mine anymore.
At least that’s where my mind went. What actually happened was that his pack-n-play moved from my bedroom to the kids’ bedroom. And. I. Cried. Like I haven’t cried in a long time.
Did I mention he quit nursing this month? Just quit! All the emotions of “He doesn’t need me anymore” and “I’m freeeeeeeee!!”—now accompanied by the heart-divided: “He’s so far away!” (in the next room) and “I finally have my room back!” Rebalancing hormones are just the cherry on top of this…this mess. Crying is the only option.
When we had found out we were pregnant, and already had three children in our two-bedroom apartment, I worried about where we would put a baby. Would it be too stressful to have the baby in our room…indefinitely? I have always moved my babies to their own cribs in their own room by the end of the first month. Because I love my space. My sleep. Not to hear every breath, every twist and turn, every little sigh.
It’s amazing how God can take something we worry about and turn it into something we don’t know how we will do without. I will miss hearing him breathing and shifting in the crib next to me. I don’t know how we ever did without him…in our space, in our arms, at our feet…in our hearts. He has stolen each one of our hearts. Our family definitely wouldn’t be complete without him.
And yet I had dared to worry. To allow myself to think God didn’t have a plan. That this baby was not, somehow, really supposed to be here now. (And that did go through my mind in early pregnancy.)
“Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” (Psalm 127:3-5 NASB)
People often say to me when I am out in public with my 4 kids, “Wow, you’ve got your hands full!” with knowing looks. It’s as if they really mean, “What were you thinking having 4 kids? I bet you regret that, right?”
Hands full…quiver full…full of blessings. In fact, I think that will be my new response: “Yes, they are—full of blessings!”
Wonder what kind of looks I’ll get then…because people don’t really enjoy their children, right?
“The fruit of the womb is a reward…”
“Children are a gift…”
Now all four of my gifts are snug in their beds…in one bedroom. We might not have a lot of space, but we have a lot of rewards. Who are we to deserve such things?
Today is not the day. But it will come. The day my last baby moves out.
I must treasure these gifts.