A lot can happen to someone in four years.
For BamBam, it was the development of his senses, growing teeth, learning to walk, to talk, to run, to jump, to reason, to laugh, to lie, to apologize, to chase, to hunt, to wrestle, and to love.
For me, it was transitioning from being a mother of babies to a mother of children and it happened so fast I hardly noticed. I don't remember the last bottle I heated. I couldn't tell you the last diaper I changed. I don't even think I can recall the last night I was needed to rock someone to sleep.
I guess that's nature way of protecting a mothers' heart. Had I known it was going to be the last night of footie pajamas or the last time I would see BamBam suck his thumb, I would have fought more to make it last.
I try hard to teach my kids about nature and the circle of life. I want them to be comfortable with the phases we all must go through and embrace them with excitement and optimism. The best is yet to come, my children. Today, though, I find myself needing that same pep talk.
So Doc...it's ok to miss the midnight feedings, the soft cries of a newborn, binkies, Huggies, bouncers, chest snuggles, nursing, napping with warm sweaty heads, boogers on all my clothes, puffs, strollers, the Bjorn, baby food, and sippy cups (though do let me remind you how much you cursed them at the time). But now is the time of real work. You taught them to walk and talk but now you get to teach them to think and to reason. You are now going to be shaping how they see and present themselves to the world. It's daunting, yes. But it's also going to be so much fun. Now is the time of sweet surprise questions in the car or while cooking dinner. Conversations can be bigger and richer and so too can the emotions. It used to only be happiness or anger, laughter or crying. Next is curiosity and hope and melancholy and trepidation and pride and fear and empowerment and accomplishment.
Don't worry. You still get to hunt for lovies every night and fight the monsters in the closet or the toxins in the veggies on the dinner plate. And I bet they aren't done with the snuggles quite yet. But you also will get to watch her keep a smile on the kindergarten stage even though HoneyBadger is scared out of her mind or watch BamBam sing his ABCs into the microphone at pre-K graduation with the pride of a thousand lions or listen to TenderHeart as he explains why BamBam shouldn't be afraid because they can conquer anything that comes as long as they are holding hands.
Your family is weaving together now that the babies have grow into their own skin and the connections you are making have so much more strength and color. It's OK to shed a tear or two for the simplicity of the moments that are gone but don't dwell too much. What is coming next is a thousand times more beautiful and powerful than you can even begin to imagine.
And Doc, most importantly, the moments to come are the same ones you will look back on with tearful nostalgia. So work hard to be in them, with your entire self, both eyes and your full heart open. The best is yet to come.