Well, it just so happens that the awesome lie-in (I’m talking the post-kids re-evaluated definition of lie-in meaning past 7am) that I have been looking forward to, in a hotel bed sprawled out all on my own, didn’t quite pan out as I had planned last night.
I woke up this morning at 6.15am, after experiencing what felt like a never ending nightmare. You know the kind, right? You manage to half wake yourself, realise it’s just a dream, and drift back off soon after, only to start reliving it over again.
It was one of those really vivid dreams that manages to have a real impact on your general mood all day. One that you know came from deep within your psyche, that is so real and raw, that the emotions that it conjured are hard to shake off even in the light of day.
You know it was a dream.
But you also know that it meant something. Something profound.
Joining the girls for breakfast this morning in the hotel restaurant, bleary eyed and looking and feeling like I hadn’t yet been to bed, I recounted my nightmare.
Firstly, we have a pool. I am far away but I can see that Bubble has happily dropped into the water and is bobbing about, splashing. But, (for some unknown reason) we have a ‘pet’ Great White Shark in there and I am yelling at my parents to grab her out, “GRAB HER OUT!” They do, and she is fine.
But…and I don’t know whether this was a separate dream or a continuation of the last one…but I suddenly realise that I can’t find Bubble. We are outside, on a large property (which in the dream feels like is mine) and I am searching for her. I am telling Hubbster that I can’t find her. I am asking Woo and Foghorn to help me look, but everyone seems largely unbothered by the situation. They continue doing what they are doing, and I continue to search for her in this enormous paddock alone.
The panic and the anguish I felt for her whereabouts was so intense that when I woke I just had to ring Hubbster, so I could hear her little voice down the phone line.
Well, little did I know, but I was in perfect company to share such a dream.
“You know that water in your dreams reflects your emotions right?” my friend asked, already deep in thought, her quick mind going over the other symbols of my dream to decipher them.
“Yes!” I replied. “The first thing I did this morning was Google it!”
“And the fact that you feel like you have lost her, suggests that you are feeling the fact that she is growing up and moving away from you a little bit.”
Every word suddenly rang true, although I was sure I hadn’t been conscious of it in quite the same way before.
Bubble, who is now approaching her second birthday next month, is already beyond her years. She is already fiercely independent, with an outgoing personality, and communication skills that I did not experience from either of her brothers at the same young age. She is fascinating. And, as with all of my children, for different reasons, I am incredibly proud of her, and for all the reasons I have outlined above.
But it seems these same qualities that I have identified in her that bring me so much pride, are also the ones that caused the overwhelming sense of grief and loss that I felt in my dream last night.
She is the youngest of my children.
She is the last of my babies.
No more pregnancies. No more breastfeeding. No more, no more, no more!
Hubbster and I, shortly after Bubble was born decided that our family was complete, and to ensure that this was the case Hubbster underwent a vasectomy.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t regret that decision for one moment. Nope. Not even a millisecond.
I am glad that the sleepless nights and zombified days are behind me.
But, without realising it, yesterday, whilst admiring all of the beautiful little babies, of various ages, sleeping in their prams or cocooned protectively in their slings close to their mum, a part of my brain recognised that Bubble is about to leave her ‘babyhood’ behind.
With every step Bubble takes towards independence I take a step away from that wonderful, beautiful and bloody exhausting time in my mothering journey when my children rely on me for everything.
Maybe it took my conscious mind a little while to catch up with my subconscious, but now in the clear light of day I can see that although I have for the last few weeks been recognising the benefits of Bubble being bigger (we had our first family outing to the beach last week and where able to relax and enjoyed it, as for what feels like an eternity I either had a tiny baby or was pregnant) a big part of me also feels a little sad.
Okay…okay…so maybe a BIG bit sad.
It is the end of an era.
Tell me I’m not alone. Did anyone else feel sad when they realised their youngest wasn’t a little baby anymore?