Monday, 4 May 2009

Milk and Kisses.

I find myself in a new place.

The Eldest turning thirteen is significant in itself and I find my head is full of new wonderings and imaginings. The wheel turns and my babies grow. I am excited about the future and what lies ahead for all of us.

And not only do we now have a teenager in the house, but we no longer have a baby in the house. Of course they will always be my babies, but in the truest sense those days are gone.

This littlest scallywag of them all is now weaned, 100%. Over a week now, and we have established our new little bedtime routine. In some ways it kind of breaks my heart. And in so many ways I am so ready for my next chapter. 

Nappies (diapers) are also on the way out, slowly but surely. And that is one washing load less that I will not miss! 
In small ways the babe that was is quietly being replaced by a fiercely independent little boy who knows his own mind and how things should be done.

Do mothers ever really get over the loss of their baby babies? I am reminded of a line in the song 'In Metal' by Low: 'Partly hate to see you grow, And just like your baby shoes, Wish I could keep your little body, (In metal).' 

I know I have written about this many times. It seems to be a theme here! I have this epic internal battle going in my heart, tugging me this way and then that way, and all the time plucking painfully at my heart-strings and making me wonder does it ever actually get easier? 
I vacillate between joy and excitement at every new phase, and then the crushing despair when I realise something is gone for good.

Below is a letter I wrote to a friend a few years ago when I recieved a cd in the post from him unexpectedly.

Dearest Fergus,

Thank you! Thank you SO much.
I've just listened to the recordings of (the two oldest) and it made me
laugh, and it made me cry! It was like putting my ear to a tiny hole
in my past and hearing these little voices that I will never hear
again. Those babies don't exist any more! Oh how that made me cry!
It's different to looking at photo's. I felt like they were on the
other side of the wall in a room that has no door. It's the strangest
feeling. And nothing has ever made me truly realise how grown up they
are now. I wish you had seen them when you were here, as I think you
would appreciate just how amazing it was for me to hear that.
And how perfect was your choice of music at the end. All in all it
just killed me! I don't think I've ever recieved a present like it.
And all the more because it came out of the blue. I will treasure it.

Thank you.

Love from Ciara x

But the joy almost always wins out. The desperate grasping moments of loss are fleeting. 

But they have a sting to their tail! 


Mel said...

Oh, Ciara,

My heart is with you! With a 14 year old and a 7 1/2 year old, I know it's hard. Somehow, with the second one I can see better what is coming, and yet...

Somehow I find ways to string it out, now, even with our busy lives.

The sadness at the loss may be the motivator, but the joy is the vehicle to the "keeping" don't you think?

I love having those pictures at all the different stages as an arsenal to compare the new different stages against-- somehow find the similarities... and yes they will always be our babies, even though babihood is passing. But just look at the inverse, when we so much could wonder at who they might possibly become when they grew? And now, blessing that it is, we see it. Not all parents are so lucky.

Anyway, to cheat, I love to watch mine sleep at night... !



Acornmoon said...

I read your blog as an empty nester, nobody prepares you for that! Nothing stays the same but there is joy in seeing your children grow independent and strong and maybe parents themselves one day.

Tia said...

Hi Ciara,
how lucky those children are to have you as a mom :) Please know I am hugging you...when I lost my hearing the last sound I heard was baby Daisy saying "mama" it will stay in my heart till I die :)
you know, even though my 4 children are spilt between this earth and the next life , they are still and always will be "my 4 babies"...treasure every moment Ciara , every prescious moment , even when you`re telling them off :)
With love in Motherhood,
Tia xx

Antoinette said...

You say it so well Ciara. I want to hold on to my only child just a bit longer. It's just going so fast. She was a baby a minute ago, and now she's nearly 7. Gah! A child turning 13 - that's wonderful, but well...poignant isn't it?

There is so much joy as you say, but that little sting does get me too sometimes.

Annah said...

I think I need to accept the fact that I will often cry in the mornings when reading your blog.....

I can so relate to your world. With Saul weaned and independant, and although Cal is only 10, I feel he is moving away so quickly too. Wanting to walk down the town, wanting to express his voice and his opinions and to have life as he wants it. Yet he wants to snuggle in bed with me some nights and be minded. Interesting times ahead.......
My heart is with you.

Lisa Conmara said...



Elaine Prunty said...

There is no going back,you have to believe that is a good thing...
... if its any consolation i've just helped my daughter make a robot costume for a party she's going to.. ......

(she's 19 and the partys in crawdaddys so some things never change ;0)

Jo said...

For God's sake, Ciara! I can't deal with this!


Esti said...

This is so touching. And I relate, you don't know how much I relate... This vission of yours is ahead of me, but all in all I have the same feelings flooding me day in, day out. Thanks for sharin your feelings and that precious letter.

Jess said...

I loved this post, Ciara, and the comments left by your friends. What beauty is motherhood. As a new breastfeeder (who gets more confort from it - me of Finny?), weening is inconceivable to me at present. Please please let it be so very long off. My baby. my baby.

Sarah said...

Oh oldest in turning 15, and my youngest is 1...and I'm
40. My hands are full, but I can't let that baby part of my life go. I hear you! I try to just look ahead and how many awesome things are waiting for me there. But I can't watch a video for my life...I end up bawling my head off and being melancholy for days.
Great post and great blog.