Babies grow up
Perhaps it’s because I’ve spent a lot of time processing my own mortality and reflecting upon (if not mourning) the loss of my youth that I don’t feel a sense of sadness as I watch The Girl grow.
I realize that the baby that slept next to me in a little plastic bassinet isn’t the same baby that’s asleep in her crib right now.
The tiny newborn that used to lay on her Daddy’s chest fast asleep as he watched Clone Wars is now a big chunky baby who is becoming too busy to sit still for very long.
When I think that, in a matter of months, The girl will be the same age as B when we got her, I think of the leaps and bounds that B developed in that time. I think of how The Girl will be doing all of those things: walking, talking, throwing tantrums. I think of how we will get to see her do more.
I try to imagine what she will look like as a kindergartner. I wonder if/when she’ll need glasses (The Husband and I both have corrected vision). I pray she doesn’t get my astigmatism.
I wonder of she’ll need braces like her dad. I hope she doesn’t get acne (The Husband had it, I’ve always had clear skin). I wonder how tall she’ll become. If she’ll be intellectually gifted.
As I look to the future and think about our short history together, I also try to be in the moment with her. I want to live in the present and enjoy the time I have with her now.
I could mourn the child that she was, or be anxious about the person she will be. How fair/reasonable is that, though? What’s the point of being sad about something that I have zero control over? Why should I worry about something that I have no way to predict (at least right now)?
When The Girl reaches a milestone or outgrows something, we approach it with a sentimental celebratory attitude. A common phrase in the Armchair household is, “Our little girl is growing up,” which is often followed up with what she used to do/wear/etc. and then celebrating the growth.
Making new memories and celebrating new milestones means that she is still with us. For this reason, I’ve chosen not to be sad about The Girl growing up.
I’m a sentimental person, and I would be beside myself every time she outgrew a favorite onesie or outfit if I dwelt on all of the implications of her growth.
When I look at pictures from weeks and months gone by, I realize that we will never get those moments back and that the pictures I see are the only record of those moments. It’s strange how that is.
I treasure the moments we’ve had, but I’m living for the moment we’re in.