How Sweet it Is
So guys, you know how you go through these cycles of life where all of a sudden you're going to a bunch of weddings, or sadly, a bunch of funerals? Well, right now, I'm in a baby cycle. I'm suddenly surrounded by people having and/or adopting babies.
And so of course, I'm thinking back quite a bit to when I was having babies, or anticipating having them, or in some cases, not getting to have them. And I'm thinking back to those earliest days when everyone...and I do mean everyone...tells you how fast it will go. And how when people say this, and you've been up for 42 days straight and you haven't seen the outside world because you've been so busy diapering and learning about this new person you're living with that, well, it kind of falls on deaf ears. Because hello? That's kind of when you want things to go a little faster. (at least if you're me). You'll want to sleep. And eat. And not count how few minutes you're getting to sleep. (The lack of sleep was a real issue for me...can you tell?) You'll look forward to days when your baby can smile, or sit up, or even walk. Because it's all...almost every bit of it...in the future. A baby is just the start of a life...so obviously the future is enticing. What on earth will this lovely new life become?
And now, almost 11 years into it, all I can think is slow down. SLOW THE HELL DOWN. Because all of those people? They were right. It goes so fast that it's almost beyond comprehension. These pint sized people that I live with? They literally used to live in my body and sometimes, they are totally foreign to me. They have their own ideas, their own opinions, their own likes and dislikes that seem to come from out of nowhere. And it's amazing, really. But it's also, as my friend recently reminded me, bittersweet.
Because as much as it is an honor and privilege to watch them grow, sometimes, you just want it all to slow down.
A lot of people, at this point, may suggest that I (or any of you feeling this way) should have/adopt/raise another baby. To get that 'baby fix'.
But it's not that. I don't have any lasting urge to add on to our family. What I want is not a baby...what I want is my babies. I want to see them one more time as littler beings. To smell their soft toddler hair. To squeeze their soft little selves. To carry them one-armed (was that even possible) throughout the house, looking for their favorite truck or blanket. I just want them, one more time, as they were.
It's not that I don't love who they are. I'm amazed by them every day. It's that I finally understand how fast it all goes. When I watch a video that I swear I just took of my kids, I can already hear the changes in their voices. From small emergent speakers to confident kids. It actually takes my breath away. Where did this all go?
And I want to tell these new mothers to hold on. To enjoy, really enjoy, every minute. Because faster than they could ever imagine, these minutes will change shape. So take pictures. And videos. And remember how those hugs felt. How their little bodies felt as they squirmed to get down and branch out into the world. How their baby breath smelled and the things they said so often you swore you'd never have to be reminded (but you may actually forget).
Because literally, before you know it, those chubby baby legs will be replaced by long and lean big girl legs and your son will be asking you to cut his hair differently so he looks cooler. Your tiny, tutu wearing toddler will suddenly be old enough to tell you that you're developing a unibrow (just now) and your truck loving pre-schooler will ask to watch a horror movie (last night).
And it's all wonderful, and sweet, and really, truly, amazing. But it's also a little heartbreaking.
New moms...I'm envious of the journey you're just beginning. For the new and astounding love you will experience for the first time, but also for the little things. Smelly diapers and lack of sleep included.
Enjoy every minute. It really does go faster than you could imagine.
Danielle Davies (@daniellendavies) is the creator of the internet sensation, My Life with Bradley Cooper, as well as a writer and artist living in New Jersey. Read more...
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