Thursday, January 14, 2010


Have you ever noticed how quickly time goes by?  Not just a day, but whole months and years of our lives, just gone.

My baby is 16 months old this month.  When my oldest was born, seven years ago, I couldn't wait for her to get bigger.  I couldn't wait for her to start waking up more, interacting with me more, smiling, rolling over, crawling, walking...the list was endless.  She died at eight months old.  So many of those milestones I didn't get to see.  I wanted all that time I'd wished away back again.  It went too fast.

Shortly after her death, I became pregnant with baby number two.  I was determined to enjoy every second of this child.  I was determined to love him and not let a second go by that I didn't just revel in his sweetness.  I didn't plan on colic though.  To say he was fussy is an understatement.  He cried, and cried, and cried.  When he wasn't crying we were listening to white noise.  My darling husband made a cd for me that I would put on repeat; eighty minutes of white noise.  Loud, constant, annoying.  It was the soundtrack to his first eight months of life.  I didn't enjoy him, I didn't enjoy the sweetness of the newborn with him.  I was still so wrapped up in grief and pain that I couldn't take the time to really enjoy him before the colic struck.  And when it came, he was just no fun.  Now he is five-and-a-half, I can't believe how big he has gotten, how much he knows, and how fun he is.  He is learning how to read, loving Kindergarten and soon won't want to play marbles and Spiderman Memory with me anymore.  Soon he won't want to snuggle in bed with me in the morning and cuddle up for a book.  It is going to fast.

My third child came shortly after the boy turned two.  Hers was a quick and easy labor, much like her babyhood.  She was a dream baby.  So happy, so laid back, and so easy.  It was a good thing too because with her two year old brother running around, she had to be easy.  I was still chasing him constantly and trying to keep up with having two children now.  Two diapers to change, two babies to feed, two children to console, bathe, love.  I didn't spend the time getting to know her as a newborn like I wanted to.  I didn't really revel in her newness, smell her sweet baby head and enjoy her as much I wanted to because I was so consumed with having TWO!

Two years later I did it again.  This time though I was wiser, I had done this three times before so I knew what to do differently.  I stayed in bed more.  I looked at her more. I soaked her in.  I let people help me when they wanted to.  I was still.  I sat more, knit more, read more, and prayed more.  I deliberately tried to slow down time.  I knew how fast it would go and I didn't want to regret any of it.
But now she is 16 months old.  Again, I feel like I missed so much.  Babies are newborns for just such a short amount of time.  It goes so fast.  You blink and it's gone.

I've come to realize that even though these phases don't last long, I can enjoy every second of it if I let myself.  I also have come to realize that there is so much to enjoy in each phase.  Sure, babies don't snuggle and sleep all day long anymore, but you get to watch them grow.  You get to watch them interact and build relationships with their siblings.  You get to watch them fall in love and start a family of their own.

So during this time, the hard toddler years, the elementary years, teenage angst years and onward, I will try to revel in the time I have with them, because it goes so fast. What it all comes down to is how will I spend this time.  Will I spend it wishing it would slow down, or just enjoy the time I have. While I'll always remember them like they are today and wish I could freeze them like this, I think I'll choose to enjoy it.

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