To all the mamas that are exhausted and can’t wait to get through the newborn stage,
When my daughter was a baby, I couldn’t wait to watch her grow up. Not only because I was excited for her to interact with us or to hear her talk for the first time or watch her take her first steps but also because I wished I could get some of my independence back.
I couldn’t wait until she didn’t need to be held to fall asleep. I couldn’t wait until I didn’t have to get up all hours of the night. I couldn’t wait until she didn’t need me to drop what I was doing when her only way to communicate was to cry. I couldn’t wait until I didn’t have to spoon feed her every bite of baby food. I couldn’t wait until I didn’t have to carry her (or her carseat) everywhere.
I now realize how foolish that was.
Little did I know, that also meant she wouldn’t want me to carry her anywhere. She wouldn’t want me to help her eat anything. She wouldn’t always want ‘mama’ when she woke up from a nap or scraped her knee. She would never want to stop talking. She wouldn’t wake up in the middle of the night and I would miss that time together as the only two people awake in the world. She wouldn’t want to be held anymore.
She is no longer completely dependent on me.
I never realized how fast the days went by. I never noticed she was growing up right in front of my face.
Then one day, she walked into our house with ‘dada’ and carried me a hot coffee, smiling and giddy–as if to say, “Look mom, look at what I can do. I’m almost a grown woman.” And she almost was. I know it only gets more bittersweet from here on.
Last night, my sister-in-law told me of all the crazy, exhausting things her teenage boy was up to that weekend–eating and playing and enjoying his friends as his own person, growing up. She said to kiss our son for her.
So, I kissed our two-month old son, who is currently 100% dependent on me, as he slept soundly and this time, knew that I could wait forever for him to grow up.
This time, I notice every inch he grows and cherish every moment I can hold him without him struggling to wiggle out of my arms and prance away. I want it to slow down.
This time, I only wish he’d stay forever young.