Tomorrow, my baby is turning one.
And while my husband, my oldest son, and our family and friends are all joyously celebrating and sending well wishes and asking about gift ideas, I have been crying for weeks. For no other reason than that I am simply not ready.
I’m not ready for him to be one. I’m not ready to move out of the “baby” stage. And good heavens, I’m not ready to have another toddler.
And all the while, there is a voice in the back of my head saying, “Buckle up honey, because you’re there.”
I’ve had moments like this before. I remember my friend finding me crying over my sleeping toddler when I was in the final weeks before I got married. Having been a teen mom, it had just been him and I for the two years since he was born. All of a sudden we were going to be a family of three, and as excited as I was, I often found myself overly emotional about all the changes coming.
Repeat the same thing when I was in my final weeks of pregnancy with baby number two.
I don’t know about the rest of you moms, but sometimes I get in my own way. When something that I perceive as a big change is coming down the line, I often freak myself out so much that I am an emotional wreck until long after it’s over. And sometimes, because I’m so preoccupied being a weepy mess, I miss out on a lot.
I’ve heard moms tell me that they never really grieved the stages that their kids were leaving because they wanted to delight in their growth instead. And while I absolutely love that mindset, I have yet to figure out how to adopt it for myself.
Sometimes, life creeps up on us. Whether it’s a natural passing of the time or something completely unexpected, we often get thrown headfirst into a season with little to no preparation. It’s all hands-on training, no classes to take ahead of time, no manuals to read. You just do.
But often, that season is something that feels so foreign, so scary, even unwanted. And we don’t get to choose how we move out of it; we just get to keep walking.
Besides, if we don’t keep walking, think about all that we could miss in the season to come.
So as I head into tomorrow, I’m going to choose to see the joy instead of staying in my sadness. I long to rejoice over these amazing months that God has blessed me with our littlest one. I want to delight in his smiles tomorrow as those who love him celebrate this milestone with us. And I want to look fondly back on the memories from this past year and smile, rather than grieve how quickly they’ve flown by.
Putting away the tissues, putting on a smile, and walking forward into the next season that He has planned for me.