Saying Goodbye to Babyhood

Rebecca H. McCormick, Fairfax, Virginia

I cried today while folding laundry. Both of my children stared in disbelief, bewildered. I’m not a crier. But I couldn’t help myself today.

My baby carrier slings had been sitting on a hook in my youngest child’s room for months, unused. He’s over 2 and a half years old and we’ve probably used them twice in the last six months. On a whim, I had pulled them down to wash and perhaps store them. It was just one of many other frenzied cleaning tasks I had decided to accomplish that night.

But the next morning, it hit differently. I looked at the slings fresh from the dryer and thought of all they represented. They were a symbol of my babies’ intense needs for me. Of my nursing journey, especially for my second where much of our breastfeeding was done on the go.

I remember being resentful when my first was so small and needy. I teetered on the edge of the “forever trap.” Is my life over? Will it be like this forever? Those slings saved my sanity.

I, of course, know now that it isn’t forever. I look at my children as they sit in their pajamas, munching their cereal, and know that in the grand scheme of things, it was a tiny moment and that it’s passed now.

I finished folding the slings, took a deep breath, wiped my tears away, and got two of the best hugs I’ve ever had.

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