We celebrated baby Bette’s birthday while we were away on Spring Break. Except she is not a baby anymore. Not by a long shot. But I will let you in on a secret, if you promise not to tell anyone…. she will always be my baby.
I decided not to throw a big party this year. I didn’t want our days at the beach focused on preparing for a party. And I didn’t want to get sucked into any big craft projects and become preoccupied with getting them done. I thought we should just celebrate quietly, as a family and with a few friends who might be around.
Of course, having a small party didn’t mean we didn’t have a lot to celebrate, because we definitely did. Bette has made astounding progress the last few months in her language development. I am continually surprised by new things she says – actual phrases and sentences. Many things she says are still unclear, but more and more of what she says makes sense. She has made leaps and bounds from where she was one year ago, when all she did was yell non-stop. There is still a good bit of yelling, but there is a great deal of talking too.
Not having a big party gave me a chance to soak up my last few days with Bette as a two year old. Because the reality is, I may never have another two year old in my house again. I don’t know what the future holds for our family. And I don’t know how God may or may not choose to expand our brood. Being able to have more children is not guaranteed.
I may never have another two year old in my care again. I may never have another two year old to play with, cuddle up with, pull into my lap, or feel nestled into my neck. So during the last few days before Bette’s birthday, I wanted to soak all those moments up with her.
It probably won’t surprise you that the day after Bette turned three years old, she woke up and was the exact same little girl as she was the day before. She didn’t change overnight into a completely different child. She still gives me the same hugs and kisses. She still loves the same things – dresses, shoes, baby dolls, and barbies. She is just a little older. And she is growing older, every single day.
At times, it makes my heart hurt so much – this progression, this marching forward of time that never stops. Sometimes I have to stop and take deep breaths because I remember that my girls will actually leave home one day and that all this will be over and I have to literally fight back tears. Because despite being so spent at the end of every single day that I just want the day to be done with, the shades pulled down, the kids in bed, and the noise stopped – I will miss my babies terribly when they are gone.