The emotions come out of nowhere and sideswipe me as I am washing a dish left behind by one of the kids. All it takes is an innocent glance out of the kitchen window. I can’t help but stare at the baby carseat waiting at the curb for tomorrow’s garbage pickup. Wasn’t it just yesterday I spent countless hours pacing the aisles of Babies R’ Us obsessing over which seat was the best one for that precious baby kicking inside my belly?
The purple and gray Graco seat ended up being the winner and was just perfect. It met all the must haves on the new parent-to-be’s checklist. It had a good safety rating, was easy to figure out how to use with the adorable matching stroller I’d been eyeing since I first saw the little pink line on the pregnancy test and most importantly didn’t look like someone threw up flowers or hearts all over it. It had that “yeah, I’m a baby girl, but I mean business, so none of that coochie coochie coo nonsense for me, please” look to it. It was the one my baby was going to be carried around in, nap peacefully in, smile her first smile in, puke up entire bottles of formula in, and independently learn to propel herself out of at six months of age.
And yet now it sits, lonely, empty and abandoned on the curb. Perhaps it is the memories of when my daughters were babies and the fact that in one moment those memories seem like yesterday and in others they feel like so distant like memories from another lifetime. Maybe it’s the fact my daughters are growing up at a speed faster than I can wrap my head around and some days I wish for nothing more than a rewind or pause button. But whatever the reason may be, my eyes remain glued to that carseat. But, within a few minutes, the reality of the clock nearing midnight presses down upon me and I force myself to turn away.
I grab a paper towel, wipe my tears and take the trip upstairs to go to bed for the night, but not before paying a visit to kiss my daughters who will always be my babies..whether I can carry them around in a carseat, my arms or in my heart.