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This month, my baby turns 5. I know, big deal, all kids turn 5. But this is the youngest of my four children. My very last baby and he’s not a baby anymore. I’ve never had a 5-year-old without one or two kids coming up behind. It’s new territory for me.

Kids getting older is hard. My oldest is a teenager and this was my extra surprise baby (I had my tubes tied after the third, and surprise – came a fourth.) We’re done with babies, and it’s a mixture of sheer relief and also a little sadness. Who doesn’t love a snuggly little one?

So this year my littlest one will turn 5, head off to kindergarten and start his big journey to independence away from us. He loves to help me bake, loves to do puzzles and thinks playing Xbox with his oldest brother is the best thing ever. He’s definitely not a baby anymore. My husband and I are one step closer to an empty nest.

Life is constantly changing, and as we’ve all learned this year, a new normal kind of stinks but we get used to it just in time for a whole new “new normal” to start. Our children grow from babies to toddlers, to school kids, then the dreaded teen years before they leave. Our time with them is precious and short and we need to make the most of each day, month and year.

Five years old. My sweet surprise baby is turning a whole hand old. It’s just so hard to believe. Next, I get to wait for grandchildren. In the meantime, if I want to hold your sweet baby a minute longer, indulge me. I promise to return him as soon as he cries.

Allison Wells is a wife, mother of four and an author. Her motto is "Life is short, eat the Oreos." Visit her online at www.allisonwellswrites.com.

Read or Share this story: https://www.upstateparent.com/story/news/2020/08/11/mom-mom-whole-hand/3343948001/