today my little girl turns 4. in some ways i can't believe she is already 4, but mostly i think, "wait, she's only 4!" she has always seemed older to me. maybe it's because she started talking so much earlier than our boys, or maybe it's because she always been obsessed with "pretties", or maybe it's because she has always had her own opinion and has never had a problem expressing it. whatever the reason, my little girl has never seemed very young to me.
my baby boy also reached a milestone today. he is now 6 months old. i've kept clothes from my older 2 boys as hand-me-downs and i store them 6 months to a bin. that means that today i pulled out a new group of clothes for my little baby and had to put away all the clothes he's outgrown.
this is where the bitter comes into play. as i folded each little outfit and put it into the garage sale pile i couldn't help but shed a tear. some of those outfits have been worn by each of my 3 boys. i kept thinking, "i will never pull this onesie over a tiny newborn head ever again. i will never fight a squirmy little foot into this shoe ever again. i will never see this outfit on one of my babies ever again." of course, i kept a few very special outfits for sentimental reasons, but most things are going bye-bye.
as much as i understand the reasons why we are done having children i still can't help but wish for another one. we had 4 kids in 5 years meaning that being pregnant and having children have been one of the main focuses of my life for over 6 years now. how do i find a way to let go of such an important part of my life? how do i come to terms with the fact that the thing i've devoted my body to for the past 6 years is no longer present in my life?
of course i know the answer. i focus on raising my children now. there is kindergarten next year; karate and ballet classes; play dates; and a myriad of other activities in our future. but knowing this is what i now need to turn my attention to and doing it are two very different things.
now for the sweet. pulling out each of the "new" outfits brought back happy memories of when my older boys were little. i remembered my boys wearing everything i took out of the bin. in most cases i also remember who gave us each outfit and why. it made me smile to think of my baby getting big enough to wear clothes his big brothers wore.
i am excited for the future. for all the adventures we will have as a family. i just really, really, don't like change.