On Sunday, Joel turns eleven months. That means I will have one month left of babyhood with my bub. He's already showing signs of being a big boy. I find myself longing for the times when he was a sweet sleeping prince. In fact, last week Joel slept in our room while my mother-in-law and brother-in-law visited. We also bunked with him when we went to visit my parents for Easter. During both visits, Joel spent nights in our bed. Even though it was mighty uncomfortable, I was in heaven. He nestled his sweet, snuggly self in between his father and me. It brought me back to the summer when we first brought him in our bed. He wouldn't sleep well in his pack n' play. He'd stop breathing from time-to-time. In our bed, he found his rhythm. He was safe. Having him back here made me feel like he needed us again. He was no longer my independent big boy; he was my needy baby.
While those first few months were pure joy for me (besides the lack of sleep), they were torture for Murad. It took a bit of time for him to develop a strong bond with Joely. Now their bond is as strong as ever. So while I long for the days of infancy, Murad is enjoying this stage of rapid growth.
I find that as we approach one year, people are already asking if we're ready for another one. Even my level-headed dad asked when we were having number two (I think he just wants more grandchildren to spoil, and he knows he's not getting any out of my brother in the near future). The truth is, we don't know. I feel like with Joel we definitely knew we were ready for him. In fact, our desire to have Joel was so strong that we kind of jumped into it without considering all the factors. I wouldn't have it any other way though. I just wonder when that desire will come again. We go back in forth in our desire for another wee one. Three weeks ago we picked out prospective sibling names for Joel. We even discussed how we would make it work financially (something we never did when we decided to have Joel). Last week, we were convinced that we were one and done. We kind of go in cycles like that. Fortunately, our children-wanting cycles are the same. I also kind of feel like I'm being selfish for asking for another blessing. I don't think I fully grasped how wonderful Joel would be. I mean I had NO IDEA that he would be this awesome. I am so fascinated by him. I could sit for hours and watch him explore. I never knew what I was missing before he arrived. Do I deserve to experience another blessing? Am I just missing that new baby feeling? Why does Joel have to share? (I know. Who says that? Murad calls me a brat when I complain about having to share with my brother...and yes. I still complain!) I guess I'll never know. I think in this situation the answer won't be as clear as it was with Joel.
Even though it's not clear if Joel will have a younger sibling, I do know one thing: My little boy is growing up. It is bittersweet to watch him grow. I've never been more proud of his accomplishments and so heartbroken as well. I'll never get this year back. All I have are the thousands of photos and videos, millions of mental movies, and hundreds of tiny used clothes that let me know he was once a baby. Our living room is constantly covered in toys that Joel has thrown across the room. I remind myself that at one point, he could not throw. Each morning, he throws his food on the floor for the dogs; he could not do that before. I constantly look at his birth certificate to remind myself that a six pound baby did exist. As we approach one year, I remind myself that a baby once lived here.