Sunday, December 14, 2008

O ye mothers, gather ye rosebuds while ye may

It was the pile of clothes growing next to the baby's dresser that did it. I found myself opening drawers to dress him, and pulling out everything he'd outgrown. At first I was concerned with the little picture- We need to get him more clothes, because he had only a few shirts and two pairs of pants... And then I realized what it really meant. My son blasted through the 3-6 month clothes and is now out of the 6 month size as well. Some brands fit him at 6-9 mos. size, and some he fits into the 12mos. He is not yet six months old.

When did he suddenly get so big? Why didn't I realize before now how much has happened? There are four packed garbage bags full of clothes that he doesn't fit into anymore. When I looked back at him, he was the length of the changing table. He doesn't fit into the sink for his bath.

I have just begun to understand what everyone keeps telling me- "It goes by so fast".

It's very tempting to keep thinking forward, keep looking to the future, to say I can't wait for him to crawl, to talk, to walk, to eat solid foods, etc. And while this is a delicate and hard to impart feeling, I have begun to appreciate how fast it really goes. When he was a newborn, I could not wait for that phase to be over. But things get easier and harder as he grows. I've begun to notice how large he's getting, and realizing that he used to fit in one arm instead of two.

Almost a feeling of regret, that somehow I didn't notice each little detail before this, but that's not true. Perhaps it just hit me, that he really is growing at a breakneck speed, and I've only just realized what that will mean.

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may- your baby only has one first year, and there will never be a time like this in all his life. Security is easily defined with a glance towards a loving caretaker's direction. Love is everywhere he stretches his hand, and there is nowhere to go but forward. Why rush independence? He will push me and his father away in the years to come, for many different reasons. Why should I persuade him in favor of autonomy when he will rush after it in just a few months? For now let my baby sleep next to us, for now let him sleep on my chest, gripping my shirt. For now, let him have all of me and Daddy that he can stand. For now, I will gladly carry him on my hip and struggle to do things it would be easier to do two handed.

My son is growing, and I have only begun to understand what this truly means. Good thing it happened today, because tomorrow, he'll be a whole new boy.

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