Last night I was holding you at two in the morning again, nursing you and rubbing your soft baby head. Squinting my eyes in the darkness, trying not to turn on too many lights. Listening to the sweet sound of your coos.
This morning I woke up though, and you’re four.
That’s how fast the time has passed. I blinked and you grew up. My last little baby is no longer a baby, no matter how many times I call you that.
I probably didn’t cherish it enough, those fleeting years. Having a baby can be hard with the constant carrying, nursing, diaper changing and sleepless nights. I longed for the day we stopped buying diapers and threw away the bottles. I was excited for you to dress yourself and explain to me your wants instead of me guessing for 20 minutes about why you’re upset.
But never again will I nurse you to sleep. Never again will I hear the joyous belly laugh of a baby playing peek-a-boo.
Last week you learned to make the f sound, something you’ve had trouble with, and now you can say words like “family” and “fun” properly. I was immediately proud of you for learning something you’ve struggled with and gave you hugs and high-fives to celebrate your accomplishment. As soon as I did though, I was sad to realize I wouldn’t ever hear you say it the wrong way again. The baby way.
I’ll admit, as much as I wanted you grow up, it stings. It makes me sad because I know if the last four years flew by, then the next four will as well. And the next thing you know I’ll be 60 years old wishing you would come home to visit. Staring at your baby pictures wondering where the time went.
As much as I hate how quickly the days are passing, I am also filled with joy that I get to watch it. That I get a front row seat to witness you grow and learn and become a person. I suppose that is the trade off for the sadness we feel when our babies grow up.
And maybe that gut-wrenching feeling of passing time will encourage us to hold them tighter, cherish the mundane, answer yes when they ask us to lay with them at night… Because the days are long, but the years are so short.
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