Josh has been my easiest baby. By a long shot. I'm not sure if it's because he's my fourth baby and I don't get worked up about little things anymore, or if he's just that easy. It's probably a combination of both. Either way, he's awesome. So awesome that I occasionally think, "You know, I could probably handle five. Five might be nice." But then I see the look of horror on Jamie's face when I voice that idea aloud, and I think about the laundry, and say, "No. No. Not on purpose anyway."
So, Josh is my baby. My last one. And it is both liberating and terribly sad to know this. The big kids keep asking if there's another baby in my belly (not because I look pregnant, just because based on their experiences, there usually is) and I am alternately relieved and reluctant to say, "No, mommy isn't going to have any more babies in my tummy." It warms my heart that they are disappointed by that. They all love Josh so much. There may be nothing I am more proud of than the love my kids have for each other. They fight like cats and dogs most of the time, but they love each other fiercely and would be nothing but happy for another sibling. We are our own party, people. And it's fun. When it's not crazy. Anyway, I don't think they have accepted that Josh is the last one, because they just keep asking. But he is.
All the firsts are lasts now too. So the excitement of seeing Josh do something new is also tinged with regret that it's the last time I'll experience that particular thrill. But then there's an altogether different feeling as well. A feeling of satisfaction that, "Okay, I'm done with that part now. I don't have to go through that again." Because even the fun things can be hard. Now I can look forward to the day when I don't have to feed anyone and can eat my own food at meals. I can look forward to the day when I don't have to plug all the outlets and hide all the important/dangerous stuff in high places. I can look forward to the day when I get to sleep all the way through the night. I can look forward to the day when I stop nursing for good and can burn my nursing camisoles and actually invest in a wardrobe that's trendy and not designed for easy boob access. I can look forward to a life that doesn't revolve around naps. I can look forward to a car that isn't full of car seats. There's a light at the end of that tunnel now. And those thoughts are nice.
But saying goodbye to this chapter of my life is still an uncomfortable prospect. The excitement of hoping for two lines on the test, feeling a baby nudging around inside of you, the anticipation of seeing and holding a new precious child; All those things are so beautiful, and blessed and addicting. It's the closest I will ever come to experiencing and being a part of a miracle. And I'm done experiencing that. It's really pretty heartbreaking.
But those are my emotions talking. I know in my head that for all the reasons above, it will be nice to turn the page and start the next chapter. And I am excited at the concrete idea that THIS is our family. There are six of us, we can plan accordingly. I can start decorating bedrooms now that we aren't waiting to make room for another little person. I can start giving away/selling the baby things that have taken over our home for so long. I can clear out all the maternity clothes. I can look to a future where I have time for myself and my own aspirations. It is nice to be done.
Although, if God has other plans, that would be nice too.