I just nursed you for the last time and I’m a weepy mess. I may never nurse or even hold a baby as small as you again. Because tomorrow you’ll be bigger and you won’t need me as much and it’s so good. But also I’m a puddle because you’re not a little baby anymore.
I cannot believe (yet I totally can believe) that you turn one in a few days. In no way has it felt fast, but in some ways I can’t believe it’s already over (these are the paradoxes of motherhood).
Being pregnant with you was a roller-coaster. It took my heart some time to catch up to my body since you were a sweet, little surprise. And chasing after your sister while throwing up on the daily was a rough start, but I could not have been more grateful to finally have you in my arms.
And now, the tiny baby days are over. The swaddling and the sleepless nights; the constant blow outs and trying to figure out what makes you happy. You’re not as fragile or unpredictable anymore, and for that we’re so thankful.
Tonight as I hold you, I think about all of it. The first day of nursing you and how brand new it all was. Even though I had done it before, you were new. I didn’t know you and you were still figuring me out, too. I watch the clock, wondering when you would eat again, and again, and so many more times until I lost track of the world around me.
There is so much about your first year I know I’ll forget, but there are also so many things I want to remember. Like how your hair was so thick when you were born, and didn’t stop sticking straight up until you were about 3 months old. It was the first thing everyone talked about and I loved it.
I will never forget the way it feels when you fall asleep on me. Quiet and peaceful, with heavy breathing and occasional tiny snores. You feel so safe, your relaxed and sleepy body just melts into my arms.
I love your smiles and coos, and the way you hum when you eat. I want to remember how slobbery your first kisses were, and how I think you learned to crawl just so you could make your way back to my lap.
I never want to forget how it looks when you smile with only 5 teeth. Or how you laugh with your mouth open as wide as it can go. I want to remember the way you look when you’re learning to take your first steps, belly out, wobbly and shaky. And how you somehow mastered going up and down the stairs before you could walk.
You are fearless and it terrifies me. You take risks and try new things and I just wonder how old you’ll be the first time we have to take you in for stitches.
I pray you never stop being brave. That you walk out in uncertainty, confident of where you came from and the place you call home. That we help shape you, grow you, teach you and someday, launch you.
We will do our best to prepare you to enter a world that is fun and exciting, but also hurting and lost. It’s hard to imagine you getting hurt or your heart being broken, but when it does, we will be right here to help you make sense of the pieces and find wholeness again.
Those days feel light-years away, even though everyone says they’ll be here before we know it. But for now, you still have so much growing and learning to do. We will teach you the alphabet and how to hold a spoon. We will laugh with you while you learn how to talk and mimic our silly animal sounds. We get to discover the world again through your eyes, and I am so excited to be a part of your story.
And even if you don’t need me quite as much, you’re still my baby. So tonight, as you fall asleep in my arms, I’ll hold you just a little bit longer.