Monday, July 13, 2015

Coming to Terms with an almost-Toddler

We are less than three weeks from his first birthday. Three weeks. Being pregnant sometimes seems like a lifetime ago, but other times I swear I blinked and the swing and bassinet were just packed away yesterday. I can say this because the feeling of heartbreak tearing down the bassinet, even when my baby was still so little, was so powerful I about lost it. Knowing the baby days are coming to an end breaks my heart into a thousand little pieces. Watching a baby grow is truly the most bittersweet experience there is. While it hurts like nothing else to know your baby will  never be as little or innocent as they are right now, watching them meet milestones and learn to think is like watching a miracle unfold. How did that little person who couldn't lift his head progress to a babbling, crawling, slobbery kiss giving little person. When did we exchange angelic coos for silly giggles? It all runs together and you think nothing of it. And then one day, that sweet little noise they used to make no longer comes out. I distinctly remember in his first month, every time Jackson would cry it sounded like he was laughing. We called it his 'joker laugh'. When did he stop doing that? I honestly have no idea. Even those moments you sometimes wish away do end up being something you miss once they are gone.
How can this much change in one little year??

Something about the first birthday just hurts. It hurts really bad. I have spent a good deal of this first year with a not so good sleeper telling myself rough patches are only a phase, and that one day I will sleep again. But sometimes I reflect and wish I had just enjoyed those sleepless nights more (of course I still have time with this one...) of course that is MUCH easier said than done. I can't wait to see all of the things my baby boy learns in the months to come, but I kind of want to lock us in a room together and cuddle and giggle and watch him sleep while breathing in his sweet baby smell. I think babies take 18 years to reach adulthood because we literally would not be able to survive if their independence wasn't gradual and if it happened all at once. I have also come to realize that he will forever be my baby. Always. I will hold him when he cries and laugh at his jokes and make him his favorite foods forever, just so I can see his perfect smile as the result of something I did for him.
So having an almost toddler. I'm doing it. Whether I like it or not, my baby is growing up, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't sad about it. Yesterday we were out to lunch and he met another little baby girl. And as adorable as it was, I died a little inside knowing one day he will walk away from me and to another. For now though, this baby boy is mine and I'm loving every second of his almost toddler life.

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