Tuesday, April 20, 2010

When Is a Wipe More Than a Wipe?

Last night I had to make a mad dash quick run to the Target pharmacy. While racing in like a mad woman because the pharmacy was closing walking in with calm decorum, I scrolled through all the nonsense in my brain, trying to remember what on earth I'd written on the ever-renewing store list on the fridge.  Wipes.  We were almost out of baby wipes.

Paid-for prescription procured, I stood in the checkout line with my huge box of wipe refills.  740 wipes or something. Basically, it's 8 refill packs for the wipes box.  Chances are very good that Little One will be potty-trained before we run out.  I stared at that box, thinking how it represented  a huge milestone for Little One, for me, for our family.  She's our last baby and it was quite possibly the last package of baby wipes I'd ever buy for my babies.

So I stood there in line, really wanting to talk about it to someone.  Usually there's a mom or dad in line and comments about wipes and babies and babies growing up don't seem too weird.  Usually we can laugh or smile or encourage one another in a few seconds' exchange.  Alas, the muscle-bound, very single-looking dude behind me buying a single pillow (seriously, who goes to Target and buys ONE item???) didn't look like he wanted to talk about babies and how they grow.

Okay.  That's not quite true.  I made some kind of brilliant hysterical comment about how my big box of wipes didn't look like a whole lot of fun.  Now, had he been a parent, he would have had some kind of telling response.  He didn't.  He looked confused.  Clearly, he's not the guy to chat with about wipes and babies.

So I stood there in line, thinking how I'm not all broken up about getting close to the end of the baby chapter in my life. No sniffles.  Just peace.  I've been through plenty of therapy in my short little life and I found myself doing an emotions check.  Okay.  That's not quite true, either.  I've always been a navel-gazer introspective.  Just ask my mother.  I digress.

The point is I'm okay.  I'm sure I'll shed a quiet tear of acknowledgment when the day comes, like the day we converted her crib to a toddler bed and like the day she wanted to walk and hold my hand as we went into the grocery store, rather than being held.  But, I feel very differently than I did when Big Kid graduated from diapers and finally potty trained. My first baby was growing up and I wasn't ready to let go of those days.  I wasn't finished with babies.  I wasn't ready to be done.  I had more mothering-of-babies in me.  When Middle One got there, I felt more stoic - like it was something to bear and I would be just fine, thank you.  Of course, by the time Middle One got there, I'd miscarried twice in the past year and I was so-oh-oh sure God had finished blessing us with babies.

Before Little One arrived, I always believed women who said they were done with makin'-the-babies and were happy with the number of children they had were lying to themselves.  I didn't think it was ever possible to feel satisfied, that the desire to carry and birth and hold a new baby could never leave.  I was wrong.  I was very, very, naively wrong.  The minute Little One was placed in my arms, I felt such peace about being finished having babies, I don't think I can adequately explain it.  We were a complete family.  I felt satisfied and calm and... right with the world.  It didn't feel like anyone was missing anymore.  We were all present.  We are all present

So there I stood with my big 'ol box of wipes on the conveyor belt, the box that's still sitting in the kitchen, the box that will get moved to Little One's closet today.  And now I'm thinking about how much I love this journey, how thankful I am to be the mother of three children who are here and healthy, how thankful I am that God trusted me with life, how I relish watching my children grow, and how I'm excited for the next chapter of our lives, and curious to see who they become.  Dang.  And now I have tears brimming and threatening to tumble down my cheeks.

When is a wipe more than a wipe?  When there is a Mommy is attached to it.

~ G

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