Last night, our five-year-old crawled into bed with us at 1am and proceeded to puke, quite literally, all over us.

This is not an exaggeration. There were pools of vomit. It was messy.

A round of laundry, a proper vomit into an actual toilet bowl, and a change of pajamas later, he was all taken care of and crawled into bed next to me—warm, sick-fogged and still damp from the washcloth I’d run across his cheeks. And he did what he does when Things Go Wrong: He reached for me. Moments later, he fell peacefully to back to sleep, holding my hand.

When the daylight came, it was back to his normal tricks of late. In short, this means the regular announcement of bulletins that all revolve around one theme: He is so not into Mom these days, but in fact a total Daddy’s Boy.

“Boys rule, girls drool!” he taunted me at lunch, before telling me he wanted to sit with Daddy “alone, at the high table” and that he would come get me after we ate. All of that followed by an outright refusal to hold my hand as we walked down the sidewalk, only reneged on when I faux pouted and he decided to show some mercy.

It was all this, though, combined with the other thing that happened this weekend, that really sent me into an unexpected funk.

The other thing being, he also lost his first baby tooth just two days ago.

Now, I will be the first to say that I believe milestones are to be celebrated. But we arrived at this particular milestone about two years before I thought we would, and all of this felt a whole lot to me like someone trying to take away my baby boy and replace him with a big boy.

And I’ll give you one guess as to who is not ready for that to happen.

You may judge me for getting a little too misty about a life milestone. It’s just a simple tick off the biological checklist of growing up is all! Right? I myself never thought this would get to me as much as it has.

Who gets sad to see their child growing up? And GAWD LADY, you don’t want him to be a baby forever, do you?! Of course the answer to that is a loud and resounding NO (because someday I would in fact like to have our bed to ourselves again; shower/pee in peace again; not feel the need to don stripes and a whistle for all the Moderating of Sibling Fights that I do daily; etc, etc.). But I’ve kinda started to like it here. Right where we are.

All of that messiness that is our daily life… All of that craziness that we’ve come to call our own since our son came into the world, and then our two daughters after that… All that? That’s the new Us.

And with this reminder that we are being shuffled out of one phase and into another just when we were starting to get comfortable here? It squeezes my heart in all sorts of ways.

All of that messiness that is our daily life… All of that craziness that we’ve come to call our own since our son came into the world, and then our two daughters after that… All that? That’s the new Us.

I fully recognize that that’s how this parenting gig works. You make ‘em, you raise ‘em, and God willing, you ship ‘em off into the greater world.

But in the light of day, I see. It’s not about the tooth. It’s not about the choosing of Dad over me. It’s not about the fact that his world gets bigger every single day and that we become just a tiny bit smaller in comparison.

All of that is okay. Normal, of course.

It’s the knowledge that the relentlessness of parenthood is so real. It’s the realization that—no matter how long our nights and days may feel right now—we are in fact traveling at warp speed. And all of that mixes up in my heart and leaves me with this sweet melancholy.

No matter how long our nights and days may feel right now—we are in fact traveling at warp speed.

The beautiful and ruthless rhythm of motherhood.

And in the end, you go with it. Because for all the lost teeth, and the pro-dude chants, and the feelings on some days that I’m not quite getting it all right… there’s a night like last night. There’s a moment where he seeks me out—just me—again.

It’s that time where I know, even if it’s just for a literal moment, that even though we are going full speed ahead, we can always go right back to where we started.

 


Sonni Abatta is a mom of three, a writer (I mean, you probably have gathered that by now), an Orlando resident (but Pittsburgh native!) and HBIC of this here Orlando lifestyle and mom blog. Want to chat? Want to collaborate? Want to commiserate? Reach out here!