The Space Between Baby and Boy

You are still utterly unselfconscious, still blissful in your you-ness. You still share, immediately and generously, everything: Toys. Snacks. Kisses. You are unburdened by the weight of your surroundings, and in this brief period of life when you have known no unkindness, you are still pure and earnest and good. No one has teased you on the playground. No one has ever hurt your feelings. You are still so innocent and unbruised.

But tomorrow, your hair might smell of boy instead of baby, that sweet scent replaced by something unfamiliar. You might wake up and hand me your security blanket and never ask for it again. And all the folds on those impossibly scrumptious baby thighs will melt away into our past.

baby chub rolls space between baby and boy

Look at these delicious rolls. LOOK AT THEM.

In this in-between, you are a heartbreaking blend of attempted independence and desperate reliance. You still hold my hand, happily and willingly, and you are not the only one who is scared to let go.

Today we went to a parent/toddler class. We took a spot in the back because you seemed wary of so much singing and dancing and clapping. At first, you just stared at all the babies, realizing, perhaps for the first time, that there was a world outside of Mama. You slid off my lap and stepped cautiously toward the music. But halfway to the front, you sensed an absence — and you turned, searching for my face, just to make sure I was still there.

I was. I am. I will be.

So while we rest here in this space between, let me test your restraints one last time before we careen downhill. Let me just make sure you’re safe. I love how you need me for that.

And you can let me know if I am holding on too hard, baby. I’m not ready — so you will have to tell me when it’s time.

For that, I need you.


This post originally appeared at Michifornia Girl.

Melissa Bowers
Melissa Bowers
Melissa Bowers is a former high school teacher from Michigan who moved across the country when she was pregnant with her second child; she now writes about teaching, moving, and motherhood as the voice of MichiforniaGirl. "Extrovert Melissa" profoundly misses adult company and loves meeting new people via her Facebook page. "Introvert Melissa" appreciates that this can happen from behind a computer screen, where she is inevitably sporting a mom bun and downing a third cup of coffee with extra whip.

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