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Just before midnight, I pierced through my nail and into my other finger with a sewing needle.  I yelled, it hurt, and after the blood stopped dripping from my finger, I was left with a hole…but not just through my finger.

Early this morning, as the Summer breeze from the bathroom window combined with the trickle of the shower to give me goosebumps, I held Baby Dragon close in the shower and felt tears, mingled with the warm water, silently roll, camouflaged, down my face.

All because of felt cookies.

 Making felt cookies caused me unknown pain this week.  When I was given free reign to try a crafting activity I’d seen on Pinterest, I didn’t even have to think twice.  It would be cookies.Pretty little felt cookies for my boys to pretend to bake in their kitchen and serve to each other.  The felty food Father Christmas kindly delivered two years ago has served its purpose well but the volume of Siberian husky hair it’s attracted to date told me that it was time to refresh and replenish the little white retro kitchen with new goods.  As I never usually find the time to make things like this, it was a perfect opportunity to do so.

It was on account of these cookies that earlier this afternoon I scooped Our Little Adventurer from the sofa to get some cookie dough ice cream as a treat whilst Baby Dragon was napping.  I carried him into the kitchen, his long legs dangling as we headed towards the freezer.  As we walked, his little face turned to grin at me and I asked him how if he knew how much I loved him.

His ice-blue eyes met with mine as his smile ignited across his face, his lightly freckled nose crinkling up in delight.  “Tell me, Momma” he demanded.  “All” I replied. “All, Forever”.  Little arms encircled my neck tightly as he whispered his love back to me, to tell me I’m his best girl (which melts my heart) and as we bent low to collect our frosty treasure, I bit my lip again to stop the hurting.  My poor heart.

You see, the truth is, I don’t carry him around like I used to.  He’s passed the constant cuddles stage, is fiercely independent and determined in everything he pursues.  Sadly we don’t spend hours building noisy railroads and boggly-eyed Lego monsters and making rainbow macaroni necklaces the way we used to.

Our family has grown and most of our day is spent either trying to keep the newest and most fearless member of our family free from danger, clearing up the toy tsunami in our tiny living room and rubber-brooming the never-ending coat blowing efforts of our furkids from the play mat and sofa. The days are long yet the weeks fly by, and the balance of attention is usually tipped in Lyoto’s favour.

Sorrow crept silently into my afternoon not when I punctured my skin, but when I realised that the pastel cookies I was blistering myself cutting out were perfect for counting, colour sorting and of course our usual make believe role play.  It struck me like a frying pan to the face.  I had my teacher hat on because my precious first born was ready.  I’ve known that for quite some time yet I’ve buried my head in the sand and tried to ignore the real life translation…he’s growing up.

The baby who transformed my life from ordinary to magical by making me into a Momma and us into a family is growing up.  He’s about to spread his wings, and soar away to seek adventures…without my protection.

And I’m looking back and wondering if I gave enough.

I’m realising that those baby days, those newborn nights, the times when I sobbed, desperate from lack of sleep because he would settle with no one but me, when his intense need to be carried by me every second of the day, nestled close to me, attached to me, part of me, are gone.  Those days that I stupidly willed to pass; the growth spurts whilst breastfeeding, the grisly months of teething…the days he just plain needed me because he still yearned to feel part of me…gone.  And may never need me like that again.  That loss hurts deeper than I ever imagined.

I know I frustrate my husband when if in the night Jensen should wake upset, I blatantly interrupt any attempt at comforting by my husband to try to lure his slight, sleepy and fretful body to my arms, to soothe him as I used to.  I sing the same lullabies, rock the same patterns, whisper the same sweet dreams…and kiss the same flushed cheeks as he drifts back to dreamland.  My heart is healed in the darkness as I repair my emotional wounds with the bandages of relief that it’s because of me, because he feels my love, that he is safe and settled once more.

My bright, beautiful boy is three and a half years old.  In just over a year and a half he’s made the huge leap from sleeping next to me, from being the centre of my universe, to being a big brother.  A big boy in a big boy bed who now shares my love with a boy who now sleeps in his place.  Everything has been taken in his stride…but I’m stumbling.

Less than twelve months now stand between our precious, safe-and-snuggly-at-home baby years and his away-from-Momma-and-security school life.  He is thrilled, and I’m terrified.

Not because he won’t deal with the new challenges; I know he’ll love meeting children and making friends, exploring his new territory and finding his strengths.  Yet he’ll be without me,and I won’t know if he’s being treated well or listened to.  I’m in partial denial of school.  I don’t want to think about that time, those mornings when I have to drop him at the gates with a kiss and hope he’s happy until home time. At night, worry creeps into my mind like an evil spectre, and I lie awake, pent up tears stinging my nose.

How has this time come around?

Childhood is so fleeting and I’m so unsure.  I dig deep into my soul as I stare into the inky blackness created by our blind, going over and over the same scenarios in my mind.  Have I honestly prepared my son for everything that lies ahead? Have I loved him enough to have a strong sense of self?  Will he be happy, will he be ready?

I’m know I’m not ready.  I pray and hope he doesn’t sense it. Maybe as September looms next year I’ll be in a different place, and not feel the loss as greatly as I fear.  Maybe his enthusiasm will banish my fears to the big bag of worries, never to be seen or heard of again in my head at night.  Right now though, I’m ready to rub the genie’s lamp and make my wish.  I want to hit the reset button, and once more cradle his tiny, needy body in my arms.  Just to have him cling to me as tightly as he did in our beginning.

I know he’ll love the cookies.  His face will explode with happiness as he instructs his little brother not to really eat the felty food and not to snatch them (because brother will, in true old fashioned cops and robbers style), and he’ll become the expert cafe owner as he places my creations ever so carefully into the bakery bags that his beloved Granny got from the shop because she knew he’d enjoy them.

My cookies are handmade with love.  I’d make a thousand more and take a million painful fingers to make him happy…and to know he needs me still.

Go slow, Jensen Indiana.  Momma’s heart isn’t ready to let you grow up…not just yet.

On the blog also: Our Felt Cookie Tutorial

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  1. I think this is something a lot of mothers struggle with as their children grow up. I have heard that often, it is more difficult on the mothers than on the kids when the kids grow up and head off to preschool, kindergarten, things like that. Based off what I've read on your family, I wouldn't worry at all though- you seem to be a terrific mother, so full of of love for your boys! The best thing you can do for your children is to continue to love them as much as you do.

  2. I can relate to this post completely…my son is 5 and in Kindergarten and it's such a change not having him with me all day! I know all mommas struggle with this as their children grow older and I'm trying to cherish all the hugs and cuddles and hand holding because I know there'll come a time when he'll be too "big" for even that!

  3. My son is also 3.5, and I can totally related. Sorry about your finger with the felt, but I have to say they turned out awesome! I only dream to be that creative. I think the creativity gene somehow skipped me. But I too wish sometimes I could just stop time. It's going by way too fast.

  4. What a beautifully written post. It is very inspiring to me and I love the photos and title! My cousin is actually 3 years old and I can relate to some of this. What creativity that he has, kids are just amazing. He is just so precious, I really love his hair! And sorry for your hurt finger, hope its all better now 🙂

  5. Jensen is such an adorable boy and your love for him shines through this post. I can't get over how beautiful your photography is, how do you achieve that soft light? It's such a beautiful yet sad thing for a mother to see their child grow up I think. We long to have them with us all the time and remain our tiny babies forever. It's great to see them grow and learn new things but also sad because they won't depend on us as much as they get older and become more independent.

  6. Aww what a sweet kid! Sometimes I feel the same way about my son who is around the same age, but not most of the time. I struggled a lot during his toddler years – I was overwhelmed with all the constant attention needed of me and the constant whining. But this age, 3 and a half, has been so wonderful and it just keeps getting better. I love having conversations with him, discussing (simple) ideas or plans for the day, and actually reading books that keep his interest. I loved the cuddly baby days, but these preschool years I know will be my favorite, and they are just getting started!

  7. It's hard to let go and let God but I had to do with all of my kids. I cried when they started kindergarten. I cried when they started middle school, I cried when they started high school, I cried at their wedding and I cried when each of my precious grand babies were born. It's really hard to let our babies grow up but our family has multiplied and is now complete. I love your photos, your precious little one really is so precious.

  8. How much fun is that? Thanks to pinterest, there is always interesting things to do with kids. I do love you pictures. What kind of camera are you using? Glad you had a great time with him.

  9. OMG I love these felt cookies! My 3 year old would love these, she is forever playing in her play kitchen. I went to the tutorial and pinned it to try later, because that looks like too much fun to make with her, it would make for some great bonding.

  10. OH my goodness what a fun idea , I think my boys would absolutely love these. by the way our little is so adorable with all that blonde hair.I will have to give this a try, the only problem I see is my boys always anting the real thing haha.

  11. Felt cookies?!? I LOVE this idea so much. I can't believe I hadn't seen this on Pinterest yet. They look so adorable and fun. I can not wait to make these with my little girl. Pinnin!

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