No longer a baby, though we all still treat him like one.
My sweet, squishy, smiley little boy, the love of his brothers' lives and the chubby little ray of sunshine that cheers and brightens all our lives has suddenly grown from a roly-poly baby to a big little boy desperate to do everything his big brothers do.
I love watching him learn and grow. I love exploring and discovering the world with him. I love how much he worships his brothers and how much they dote on him. I love watching his brothers teach him and seeing all three boys learn together. I'm proud of the little person he's growing into.
But every new thing learned, every milestone, every birthday brings with it a pang of loss. Because every step he takes toward becoming a big boy is a step away from being the baby he once was. I miss my baby. I miss all my babies.
And it's not that I'd prefer they stay babies. It's that I know that this is the end of the baby era in our family, and although that is my choice, it still makes me sad. Never again will I grow a new life and feel the thrum of a shared heartbeat. Never again will I sit in the armchair by the window for hours on end, nursing a little one to sleep. Never again will those impossibly tiny fingers close around mine and a softly tufted head rest trustingly on my chest. Never again will I be another tiny human being's whole entire universe - and he mine.
And now my youngest baby boy is three years old. A grown little guy with his own personality and thoughts and choices, with very definite ideas about what kind of birthday cake he wanted me to make and what toys he wanted on his wish list and how he wanted to celebrate his big day.
My little baby's getting so big!