But there was time again, moving like a strong breeze that we were all being swept along on. The first night I laid him in his basket he seemed so tiny and vulnerable, laying there, wrapped in a blanket. Night after night I would lay him there again and watch him for a few moments as he slept, aware that my tiny newborn was leaving me one night at a time and a beautiful bouncing baby boy was quickly taking his place.
I loved that he was growing so happy and strong, that we were now being rewarded with smiles and coos, but a little part of me felt sad, sad that I was saying goodbye to tiny fingers, tiny toes and tiny little babygrows. With no space for a cot, I knew that the time for him to leave my bedside for a room of his own, was drawing near.
The weekend, I thought. I'll do it then...just a few more nights...but as I laid him in his basket and saw how small it now looked as his little arms fought against its sides, I realised in that moment that it would be for the very last time. I scooped him up and laid him gently in his cot in the nursery. He lay there peacefully with arms outstretched and like the first night I brought him home, he once again looked small. I stroked his hair softly with a sigh and backed quietly out the room, pulling the door to slowly until only a hint of light remained.
As I climbed into bed that night I stared at the now empty basket and felt a pang of melancholy. I missed him being there at my side, but it was of course as it should be, his own little rite of passage, his first natural step of many towards independence.
As our children grow we say many goodbyes as we pack away their outgrown shoes and clothes and what were once much loved toys that are now discarded to one side, forgotten, in favour of something shiny and new. Some of us may hang on to a few of those things so that we can get them out occasionally and remember the younger child or baby that was before.
But when we say our goodbyes, we also say hello. Hello to new wonders that help ease the transition from one phase to another. This enables us to live with our children in the moment they are in and hopefully appreciate it...warts an all. I have loved my children dearly at every phase but a part of me will always miss my babies...