A friend noticed me and stopped to talk. We observed a few pregnant woman trying to beat the heat and several moms with young children -- really young children. Little bitty infants -- ones with burp cloths and without neck control.
I had been thinking it, but my friend said it first. "It seems like a long time ago when that was me."
She was right. The infant stage has passed for us, and in many ways, it already seems like a former life.
My youngest, now three, catapulted herself down the slide and waved at me. She's always in motion, racing to keep up with two older sisters, an amalgamation of sweetness and third-child toughness.
As we left the pool, each of my children followed behind me. My youngest dragged her towel behind her on the parking lot blacktop and finally raised her arms to me -- her signal that she wanted to be carried. Those flip-flops had carried her as far as she could go. I hoisted her onto my hip and re-situated the pool bag, towels, and floaties I had been lugging. She she lowered her head onto my shoulder, her chlorine-damp hair against my neck.
And then she did it: she slung her arm around my neck in a tired hug. For whatever reason, I can remember when my daughters, as babies, first wrapped their arms around me. It undid me then, and it still undoes me now.
The baby stage might have passed, but in some fashion, they'll always be my babies.
Then I Became a Mother: humor, hope, and encouragement for moms! Both Kindle and paperback editions are currently on sale!