Do you ever feel like you're living life for the next big thing? I never realized it more than when I had a child. I remember now, looking back, at always having a countdown for something: 52 days until summer vacation, 75 days until my birthday, 365 days until my wedding... You get the point. But I feel like, after having a baby, that was magnified by a thousand. I was constantly checking every app I owned, and saying, "I can't wait until he starts talking," or "It will be so nice when he can feed himself."
I don't even know how or when this realization hit me, but somewhere along the line, I felt like I was rushing things with this precious little human and that I wasn't living in the moment - I was living for the next moment. And that wasn't fair to me or to Caleb. Why should I be rushing him along?
I remember analyzing every bullet point in the "This Month Your Baby Should Be Doing..." sections of every app. Some things were silly, some were big and important. And every app had a notation that read something like: "The skills noted in this section are listed at the earliest age that they should be occurring. All children are different and most will not complete all of the items within this age range."
Being a former Type A personality (more on that some other time), I was determined that MY kid would meet all of those skills. When he crawled at 6 months, I was ecstatic! He's going to be an early walker, this is amazing, he's going to be so advanced. Caleb then proceeded to laugh at his mother's enthusiasm and say, I'm gonna take this real slow. He cruised pretty quickly, somewhere around 8 months, and then decided he was quite comfortable with hanging on to something at all times. For nearly four months, he refused to let go and take steps on his own. And you know what? That's perfectly fine, and completely NORMAL.
But I was not having it. I was freaking out. Why isn't he walking more quickly? Is he delayed? Did his development stall? Not fair. Not fair to me. Not fair to him. His pediatrician never had any concerns and assured me he was a "typically" developing child.
It must have been somewhere around this time when it hit me. He's not going to be little forever. Every single person I know who has children that are grown has told me that. "They won't be little forever." And you know what? I'm realizing it. It's not just something they say. Time really is whizzing by. That super cliche saying - "They days are long but the years are short" - never rang truer than a couple weeks ago, when I realized it had been two years since I had found out I was pregnant.
It truly jolted me. Some days I feel like nighttime will never come. Like he will never fall asleep and I will not have time for a hot shower that day. But it always comes. Night always falls and today becomes tomorrow faster than we can enjoy every second.
So I'm slowing down. I'm savoring everything. From the trips to the grocery store, to the diaper changes, even to the moments when I don't think I can take the whimpering and the tantrums anymore. Because it will be tomorrow before I know it. And I can't live today again.
I read an article recently on Stephen and Ayesha Curry (he's an NBA basketball player whose daughter gained some fame for prancing around and grabbing his attention during a press conference after a basketball game). They have matching tattoos of two arrows pointing to one another. One arrow represents the past, the other represents the future. And the space in the middle is now - it's a reminder to them to always live for the present.
Live for today mommas, enjoy the moment. Now I'm going to go snuggle on my baby boy, who won't be a baby for much longer.