You know what we don’t talk about enough? Baby rolls. Chubby, squishy, beautiful baby rolls.
There are SO many great things about motherhood, for sure. The way my kids look at me when I’m making them laugh. Hearing them say, “I love you, Mama.” Watching the look of pride on their face as they do something on their own.
But what about the rolls? Let’s talk about those rolls. They’re amazing. Like, sometimes I actually want to eat/bite them. (Okay/not okay? I’ll look into this…) And if we all talked about them more, as a whole, I think this world would be a more peaceful one.
So, yes—what I’m saying is that my 6-month-old daughter’s adorable rolls *are* the solution to world peace. And I don’t know what kind of prize she gets for that, but she typically accepts payment in the form of milk, sweet potatoes, splashing in the bath or time to roll around in the nude, FYI.
Because you know what baby rolls are made of? Beauty and wonder and milk and formula and hope and promise. They are round and plump and beg for kisses and nibbles and awe. They represent babyhood. They represent happiness. I mean—is there anything sweeter than chunky baby thighs? (No. The answer is no.)
They remind us that we did that—we have nurtured those healthy, beautiful rolls.
They remind us that our babies need us and they love us unconditionally.
They remind us that life is pure and good. That people are inherently pure and good. After all, everyone started out as a baby with cute, cute rolls. (Even those people who frustrate you the most.)
I was nursing my baby the other night, while she was just in her diaper. We were transitioning out of the busyness of the day and into the calm of night. I put my phone down, I quieted the noise in my mind, and I just looked at her—her round cheeks, her plump belly, her chunky, rolly thighs.
She smiled up at me as I sang her a song, and my heart just about burst at the feeling of her soft, warm skin against mine. Skin-to-skin has always been a favorite moment of motherhood for me, and this was just what the doctor ordered today.
Her beautiful, delicate rolls are symbolic. They are the epitome of babyhood. They are reminders of marathon breastfeeding sessions and starting first foods, of sleep sacks and footie pajamas, of rattles and pacifiers. They seem to scream: “I AM STILL DEPENDENT ON YOU. I STILL NEED YOU, MAMA.”
My two older daughters are in-my-face examples of the quickness of time. They have shed their baby rolls, and the stark contrast of having a new baby around makes this realization so obvious now.
My 4-year-old is a true kid. She’s all about school and reading and making friends and helping around the house and being more and more ‘her’ every day. My 2-year-old has lost almost all of her baby rolls, the very last of it lingering in her chubby little toddler fingers. Her language is expanding more and more every day as well as her independence, as proven with each, “I do myself” that I hear.
I still hold my mother’s hand sometimes. We’ve never been afraid to show affection in our family. I wonder if my mother cried bittersweet tears when she held my tiny little chubby toddler hands, realizing that they can’t stay that way forever? I wonder if she holds my hand now, just like I’ll hold my grown daughters’ hands one day, and wonders how they grew to be the size of her hands, so fast?
Watching my children stretch and grow out of their baby rolls fills me with a heavy sadness. These moments are more prominent as I now watch three different children at three different stages of childhood.
It’s been said that “nothing lasts forever.” And that’s good news and bad news, really. We may want to hold on to these moments of our motherhood journey with all our might—because they’re incredibly sweet, defining moments for us and our children. But, the reality is that, we can’t.
I have to make peace with that because if not, I fear I’ll continuously live in the past. I don’t want that. I want a life of living in the now—now when my baby has her baby rolls, in 10 years when my babies are teenagers, and 20 years when they’re figuring out how to be adults.
I don’t want to miss anything. I am probably (okay, definitely) going to be the woman who wants to hold and squeeze other people’s babies whenever I get the chance to. Because they’ll remind me of the time when I had my own babies to squeeze and love on. But what I’m not going to be, or what I’m going to try not to be, is afraid of the future.
Sure, saying goodbye to parts of our children’s babyhood is sad. But, in a way, there is such beauty in sadness of life. There’s beauty in these bittersweet transitions of motherhood. There has been beauty and pain in the process of shedding the skin of my “pre-mom” self and there’s been beauty and pain watching my children grow, needing me less and less.
The fact of the matter is that life is happening. Now. We can’t stay in any one moment for longer than that moment allows. Time is not up for negotiation. We can’t control it; we can only appreciate it and be grateful for it.
Just like we’re grateful for those absolutely, breathtaking, hard-earned chunky baby rolls. (Can I get an amen?!?)