Endings and Beginnings by Alyssa Hoskings

January is always a time when you feel the urge to reflect on what has been and an excitement for what is to come. In our family, this feeling is coupled with my sons’ birthday and this year, a move into our forever home. I find myself walking around our current house in the dark early morning remembering what these walls have seen. I brought my two babies home to this house, so many firsts have occurred here- this is the place that I became a mom.

My son, Maverick, will turn 4 the last day we call this house our home, which means this week I will be scrolling through pictures of him as a newborn, desperately trying to remember how the weight of his head felt against my chest. I’ll watch videos of baby squeaks and giggles through clouded eyes until my heart feels it will burst from longing for that baby boy. Times like this I’m so grateful for my social media feeds because as I scroll back and forth I can watch and re-watch as my children grow. I’m not quite sure when the ‘toddler stage’ ends, but my guess is it’s somewhere around actually meaning it when they say, “No mom, I don’t need your help with this.”, and having to cross the aisle in Target to the ‘kid’ clothes section. That was a realization that brought a lot of tears, which then turned into a full on cry, on a random December morning. My apologies to any Target employee who witnessed that mom-ment.  

Of course, as Maverick leaves toddlerhood behind, it’s not all ugly crying in the store over baby onesies, it’s also excitement for the new things to come. New skills he will learn, whatever interests will follow the current construction phase, new best friends, and a variety of new words that will keep us entertained. Just two days ago he caught me off guard when he gently told me to “buzz off”, when I was trying to interfere with his latest building project. I immediately burst into laughter because I have no idea where he learned that phrase.This year, I’m most excited though to see his relationship with his younger brother, Hayden, grow this year. Hayden is only 6 months old and already Maverick is his favorite person in the room (besides the lady with the milk). I know those two will be causing havoc in our new home before I even have a chance to enjoy the clean and organized rooms. 

As a mom, these endings and beginnings are not new. In fact, I would say the most pervasive emotion of motherhood is bittersweetness. The sweetness of watching your babies grow and learn, coupled with the knowing that they will never be this small again. There is a quote from Peter Pan that I have had hanging up above my son’s bed since he was born- “Little boys should never be sent to bed, they always wake up a day older.” I packed that sign away yesterday.  When it comes back out, Maverick will be 4, Hayden will be 7 months, and once again my mama heart will be filled with joy twinged with a little longing. I will hang it above his new bed in a new room. A new beginning, and an ending.

__Alyssa plans student travel by day and plans another trip to the grocery store for a forgotten ingredient by night. She is a work-from-home mom of two beautiful boys ages 4 years and 7 months. Her household is outnumbered 4 boys (3 human, 1 dachshund) to 2 girls (1 human, 1 dachshund), so you can often find her dawning rubber gloves and cleaning some yucky mess. When she isn’t learning the newest in construction vehicles or nursing the baby, she enjoys reading, listening to true crime podcasts, sending reels on instagram to friends/family she wishes she could see more, watching Encanto, and stealing kisses with her husband in between comings and goings. Alyssa makes time every day for a big cup of coffee and, if she’s lucky, a glass of red wine by the fire after the children are asleep.__

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