It feels like just yesterday I was perusing the aisles of Target, that first baby bump in full bloom. I held each and every brand in my hands, wondering which my little boy would love. Carefully selecting cute colors and patterns, I bought four or five that day. These were the first of a hundred or more to be purchased in years to come.
Those first weeks were like nothing I could have imagined. The raw emotions, that fresh sound of a newborn cry, the sleep deprivation – it rocked me to my core. The memory of the green newborn pacifier we brought home from the hospital will stick around forever. He couldn’t hold on to it, and it took up 60 percent of his perfect little face. I stared at him and that binky with absolute wonder.
Once he latched on, a “Binky” became an extension of him. Over the years, we talked about Binky. We searched high and low when Binky was hiding. We turned around to go back for Binky when left behind. Binky was his best friend, and often, Mommy’s too.
To my delight, his siblings followed suit. For the past eight years, Binky has been part of our family. Every time we had to say goodbye, another little baby was ready to say hello. It’s been a true family affair, from holding them in for a newborn brother or sister to supporting our newest “big kid” when it was time to let them go.
Fresh off of a decade of baby life, I can close my eyes and see a cascading display of Binky memories. I’ve retrieved them from behind cribs, under car seats, deep in diaper bags, and even rescued them from being zipped up in little-footed pajamas (always cause for a good laugh). Binkies were there for every doctor appointment, family event, vacation, and long sleepless night. Watching my babies kick their binky to the side of their mouths to talk to me will hold a special place in my heart forever.
I helped all three of my kids say goodbye to their binky when it was time (or maybe a bit after it was time if I’m being honest). We collected them all and celebrated our newest big kid, often met with skeptical looks. Heartbreaking every single time, I wiped little tears and laid with them as they missed their friend those first few nights. This time, I have to say goodbye myself. Goodbye to those sweet little Binky faces, the funny muffled conversation, the easy fix for a cranky mood. I’m so proud of my third and last “big kid,” but it’s the end of an era. I’ll cherish my Binky face pictures for years to come and the sneaky Binky that lives in my box of baby memories. Shhh, don’t tell the big kids.