Dear Mom at the Park,
I think it was the summer of 2006 when we meet, although it
could have been fall, I don't remember. I don't remember much these
The date doesn't matter as much as this detail, I was a mom to
one. My first, my only was a toddler and you were there with your
kids, three or four of them (again I don't remember the details).
Your youngest was just a baby, 6-8 months old.
We made the usual mom small talk at the playground. Halted bits
of conversation around rescuing kids from heights and answering
requests for more snack. You mentioned that you hadn't started
solids yet, despite your doctor telling you too that you just
wanted to hold on to the baby-ness, and the ease, of nursing for
just a little longer because this was your last baby.
I gave the "oh, I see" smile and nod while in my head I scoffed
and judged you. Why would you seemingly risk your babies
development to hold on to a fleeting moment in time? What was the
big deal? It's just food. It's not like he suggested you send your
baby to all-day preschool. In fact I remember going home and
continuing to scoff and judge you to my husband. This is how
unproductive people in society are made! You can't coddle and baby
your child just because he's your last.
Dear Mom, I hope you read this as I have something to say. I was
wrong and I am deeply sorry for judging you. Seven years later as I
cuddle my last baby, in my bed where we co-sleep no less, I
understand what you meant. The bittersweet reality of everything
being done for the last time. Watching milestones pile up like
dirty onesies in the corner, becoming just memories of times gone
I'm sorry I thought you were wrong as I see now the wisdom in
your ways. It's not about being too busy with the other kids, too
emotionally attached to babyness to move on. No, it's about
cherishing and living in each and every single one of these
moments. To savor them and cherish them in ways at the time I
didn't know how, or know that I needed to. Back then everything was
so new and exciting. He's rolling! He's walking! Oh did he say
mama? We quickly moved from one milestone to the next eager and
excited to watch this child grow. Not that it isn't exciting to
watch this last baby grow, it is, but it's bittersweet, and I get
So thank you, thank you for showing me how to cherish these last
moments and for giving me the permission to do so.
However, if you still haven't started solids I reserve the right
to revoke this apologize and roll my eyes.
No longer a bright eyed new mom
Melissa is mom to 4 kids and 2 angels. She chronicles the sticky bits of motherhood at Peanut Butter in my Hair.
See more of Melissa's stories here.
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