I’ve been increasingly sad lately that Zoe’s getting so big. She’s shedding another ‘skin’, so to speak, by outgrowing another layer of toys and interests. Every time I see her/us getting rid of something else that she’s had since she was very small or a little-little girl, I get really depressed. Other small things will set me off: seeing someone carrying a toddler, or unsubscribing from an e-list that’s no longer relevant. It’s been quite some time since I could carry her (though if I had to, I still could, but not for very long), and when I didn’t have to anymore, I was grateful because she was getting so heavy. But I find myself wishing she was small again. She’s too heavy to sit in my lap comfortably anymore. We can cuddle next to one another still, but it’s not the same.

I think it bothers me more than it might other parents because I was so depressed for the first three years of her life. I wasn’t really completely there because of the postpartum depression that just seemed to go on and on and on. Sometimes I’m surprised I made it through those first few years at all and still think I wasn’t a very good mother. I feel like I missed so much. There must have been good and happy times, but mostly what I remember is being unhappy and stressed out.

And now she’s nearly 9, halfway to being an adult, and I often desperately wish I could roll everything back several years and do it again without being so sad and angry and sleep-deprived. Almost nothing happened the way I thought it would or wanted it to.

I get sad like this every year around her birthday. The actual act of having her was so traumatizing, and my doctor so cruel and insensitive, that it still sticks with me even after all this time. All I can do is wonder how much better things would have been if we had all gotten a better start. I feel like something very dear was stolen from me, from all three of us. I guess I’ll get over it someday, but it doesn’t look like “someday” is this year.

Yeah. Not little anymore.

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