Believe me: in real life this little guy is just as delicious as he appears to be in this photo.
Me and Beau and the three bigger kids, we’re all madly in love with this fourth-born Blake baby. Sometimes when I’m kissing his chubby little wrists or snuggling close to those gigantic cheeks, I find myself wishing I could just pause time and keep him at this delicious baby stage forever.
But then I slump out of bed in response to his cries at a bizarre hour of darkness and my arms ache from packing him around all the previous day and I think, We’re getting kinda old for this business.
Muggins is all boy: big, stout, heavy-boned, and already very physical. He watches the big kids like a hawk and longs to be let down to run with them. He’s already a pro at the ol’ straightjacket trick and will readily slip out of the arms of the unassuming nice-older-lady-who-just-wanted-to-hold-the-baby-for-a-minute. Trouble is, he can’t walk or even crawl yet, so he’s frustrated when he’s on the ground; he has to roll to get wherever he’s going, and that’s a slow go. So, while he waits for his legs to firm up, he uses us grown-ups to show him the world — if I’m in the middle of a room holding him, he’ll squirm around ’til he’s completed a 360 in my arms, over and over again, just scoping everything out.
I spend my days just trying to hold onto him.
Which is why my arms hurt in the mornings. And why I’m starting to suspect that 36 is a little on the old side for a baby-mama. I feel kinda guilty about it, because I would never ever want my kids to grow up fast, but sometimes I find myself looking forward to the day our little Muggins will start walking.
But, again, I feel terrible for thinking about such things.
Because I love everything about who he is now. So fresh from heaven. Those sparkling blue eyes that are only for me, his mama. Those tiny toes and those perfectly soft legs. Those slobbery, no-tooth kisses.
Part of me wants him to walk. Part of me wants to freeze time. Maybe I can work out a deal wherein time moves on but I’m always allowed to come back and stay for a while in 2018?
Of course it’s a given that we won’t be keeping him this size forever — and I know he wouldn’t want that anyhow. It’s a good thing, too, because full-time baby duty makes it harder for a mama to do big-kid stuff with the bigger kids.
Friends had promised me that a mama just knows when she’s done having kids. Sure enough, so long as it’s up to me and not God, I continue to think that our family is complete with a mama, a daddy, and four kids. That it’s officially time for our little family to stop growing… and start growing up.
Just not too fast, Lord, please. Just not too fast.
© Tam Blake