Days Go By

Something about having a second child has made me keenly, painfully aware of how quickly babies grow up. Compared to Lillian, Charlie is so big and grown up and tall. He has zero baby fat left; he can reach up to flick the high-placed light switches off and on; he can explain his hurts and his excitement and his accomplishments.

Knowing how quickly Charlie’s first three years have flown by makes Lillian’s babyhood seem sweeter. Charlie serves as a daily reminder that Lillian will soon be a walking, bouncing, talking toddler. We know from experience that we will someday be well rested again. We know that Lillian won’t always be so clingy with Mommy. We know that this crazy stage of constant teething will not last forever. And while that’s a relief, it is also sort of heartbreaking.

Lately Charlie’s striking big-boyness and Lillian’s fast-approaching graduation from babyhood have been on my mind in that somber way with which we contemplate life and the passage of time. I feel a bit sad that I’m almost thirty; sad that I’ll never experience my first or my second pregnancy again.

Today I took Lillian to the grocery store, and as I pushed the cart through the parking lot back toward the car, I tried to be present in the moment. “Soak it up,” they say. “It goes by so fast,” they say. I looked at Lillian in all her cuteness, sitting up in the cart in her tiny gray-and-pink coat, with her little chubby legs dangling from the seat, and my heart felt ready to burst in that mommy moment. “Don’t grow up!” I wanted to tell her. “I like this age.”

Tonight I have whittled away a few hours doing nothing productive, which is a nice change of pace sometimes. In my lazy browsing of various blogs, I came across this little gem from Rachel Balducci, author of How Do You Tuck In a Superhero? (which, by the way, is a hilarious book I recently proofread for Baker). I’m trying to embrace the optimism of her closing remark:

The beautiful thing, what makes this all slightly less heartbreaking, is the chance we have to watch these changes and help a little along the way. And we get to meet a whole new person in the midst of this, someone who greatly resembles a child we used to know, who in many ways will always be that child.

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3 responses to “Days Go By

  1. Precious post. I guess it’s quite amazing though that your 3 year old and your 9 month old are products of you. And that Charlie can say and see his ABCs because you taught him that. An amazing accomplishment these kid things are. You are making them into who they will be, what an honour.

  2. I read your post aloud to Ben last night. We can both relate so strongly! I can only imagine how much more poignant it must be to have an older child around offering such a constant reminder of just how quickly they leave babyhood behind…

  3. I can relate to this post too. I love watching both my girls grow and develop. As I watch Bree smile or pump her chubby little legs, sometimes I feel saddened that I cannot remember Adrianna’s babyhood more clearly. Thank goodness for pictures and videos to jog my memory. It really does go by too fast.

    I do remember telling Adrianna, when she was a baby, that I would be happy to change her diapers forever if only she wouldn’t grow up any more. And though I love, LOVE the baby stage, I am also loving her as a preschooler. Seeing her little personality bloom and grow is amazing to watch. Her little mind is like a sponge and she amazes me with the knowledge she has acquired each day. I am so thankful she still likes to cuddle with me. I cannot get enough of hugging both my girls close. I think I will have a difficult time letting go as they get older!

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