Baby fever. I’ve gots it in a bad way.
The other night, I was talking on the phone with a girlfriend who has a four-week old son. She was talking about how hard it is to adjust to the lack of sleep and the responsibilities of becoming a mother. We talked about colic and reflux and fussy babies.
And I hung up the phone and I STILL WANTED A BABY! That’s how I know baby fever is an illness. When nighttime feedings and lack of sleep sound sweet to you, you are sick in the head. That’s why this is called “baby FEVER.” Clearly, I am violently ill.
But, nonetheless, babies are on my brain.
(Calm yourselves, imaginary friends. We are not in the baby business around these parts anymore.)
I think it’s because Bean is getting ready for kindergarten. I have been so excited for him to start. For months, we have been talking about it and waiting for it. But then last week, I started filling out his actual registration paperwork and, honestly, I almost cried.
I mean, this is a wonderful beginning for him. A lifetime of learning is in front of him. So many experiences and adventures await. And for those things, I am truly excited.
But at the same time, this feels like very sad ending to me. I can’t really explain it more than that. It just feels like we’re moving on before I’m ready to let go of the past four and a half years.
What if I missed something?
What if I was supposed to plant a memory or create a childhood that he didn’t get?
What if it’s too late to teach him something?
Was I supposed to take his training wheels off his bike already?
Does he know not to run out in traffic yet?
How will he make friends?
Did I teach him how to be confident? Kind? Caring?
Is he ready?
Did I prepare him as much as I could?
Did we sing every song we were supposed to sing?
Did I give him every hug he needed? Every snuggle he wanted?
I feel like I’m getting ready to send him out into the world and my head knows how wonderfully successful he is going to be. How happy he is going to be. But my heart is worried and for some reason, it just feels really tender and sore right now. Because as happy as I am and as ready as Bean is, I know that this is definitely the closing of a door and the ending of a stage in Bean’s life.
Will he still let me kiss him when I drop him off?
Will he still look for me when he falls down and scrapes his knee?
Will he still let me rock him when he’s really sleepy or doesn’t feel well?
Will he still try to climb into my bed on Saturday mornings?
I’ve been really irritated with the kids lately. They call my name ALL. DAY. LONG.
“Mom! I ‘pilled my milk!”
“Mom! Gracie spilled her milk!”
“Mom! I need a new milk!”
“Mom! Gracie needs a new milk!”
“Mom! Where is my new milk!”
“Mom! Gracie still needs her new milk!”
It’s all day and by about…oh… 10:00 in the morning, my nerves are shot and frazzled. But then I see the folder of kindergarten paperwork sitting on the kitchen counter and my heart starts to beat faster.
One day, they won’t need me. They’ll just clean up their own spilled milk and pour themselves another glass. And while I’ll be so proud of them when that day comes, part of me will catch my breath and close my eyes and feel my heart skip a beat.
So, the reason for this posting is to ask that if you happen to be out strolling with your little dimple-faced wee one and you should happen to see me pass, please don’t be alarmed if I do any of the following:
1. Coo at your baby and burst into tears.
2. Yell out, “JUST YOU WAIT! YOU’LL BE USELESS ONE DAY, TOO!” and then burst into tears.
3. Wordlessly burst into tears.
Just pat me on the shoulder and point me on my way. I’ll be fine. I just registered my son for kindergarten. That’s all.