When Zachary was born, for the first time ever this became a house with a baby in it.

When Cooper came along three years later, Zachary was just getting over his baby-ness, and BAM! there was Cooper to take his spot.

And ever since then, this has been a house with a baby in it.

So for seven years, this was a house full of all things baby.

Except now, it's not.

Looking back, I can see that it wasn't a sudden change, really.

First, there were no more bottles, then eventually, no more sippy cups.  Then there wasn't a need for diapers and wipes.

Baby towels and swaddling blankets are long gone.  I'm not even really sure where they went.

The boppy has bopped away to somewhere else.

All the big plastic "SAFE FOR THREE AND UNDER" toys have slowly been replaced by smaller, more interesting ones with moveable parts and interesting designs.  I don't immediately panic and think "Choking Hazard!" when we walk down the toy aisle at Target.

There aren't onesies here any longer, and just the other day, the potty chair said it's final goodbye because Cooper doesn't need it now.

 Although I still have a high chair and a stroller, they sit empty and unused.   There are no pacifiers here to soothe a grumpy baby to sleep.

Cooper can finally pronounce his name correctly.  He now tells everyone his name is "Cooper" instead of the hard to explain to strangers "Pooper."  When that last little vestige of baby-ness disappeared, I think I finally realized what was happening.

I recently unsubscribed from Huggies on my Facebook feed, not because I don't like them any more; it's simply because I don't have a use for that information.

Food no longer has to be chopped and mushed before it's given to the boys, and I'm a redundancy at bath time, because really, they can handle that without much help.

Lullabies were long ago replaced by bedtime stories, and night lights are all gathering dust in a drawer somewhere.

Leaving the house no longer requires a diaper bag with a change of clothes and a couple extra shirts and a baby-friendly snack and cup and a bunch of toys to entertain a little one "just in case."

They both need me less now.  In some ways - many ways - this is a blessed relief, but in other ways it makes me sad, just a little.

They can get their own snacks and feed themselves, they can get themselves dressed, they can clean themselves and take care of their bathroom needs and a million other little things and it happened so slowly, so gradually, that I missed the moment it happened.

So it seems that the season of all things baby has passed.

And that's ok.  It's good, even.  It's the natural order of things.

But really, it seems like I blinked and it happened.  And I know I will blink again and they will be even more grown up, and another blink will happen and they will be teenagers, and one more blink will take them off to college and away from me and into the world.

And that scares me a little, and I wonder how I can slow it down, just enough to make sure I can savor every last minute of it.

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