the hardest thing

Earlier this week we found a tooth bud, the tiniest of chompers, in my baby's mouth. Feeling that sharp little edge took my breath away, and, for a moment, Lucas was suddenly all grown up, moved out, and had a family of his own. And then came that gut-squeezing, throat-tightening, eye-burning sensation of unexpected, unwanted, uncontrollable tears.

I never knew how real of a phenomenon it was, when people would comment about how fast time flies when you have a kid and how you shouldn't blink because it all passes so quickly. I figured it was just something people would say. I didn't think it was actually going to be something I needed to be concerned about or something that would affect me even in the slightest. I guess I just never thought about it. But here I am, 27 weeks and 6 days later, and I realize... I blinked. I blinked and this tiny little person who used to fit inside of me is now 6-1/2 months old and just under 20 pounds hefty. I blinked and the scrawny arms and legs have morphed into chunky thighs, muscular calves, and sunflower-seed-sized biceps. I blinked and I find I am no longer able to place this little human in one place and expect him to stay there for 1.2 seconds. I blinked and suddenly there is awareness and laughter and curiosity and determination and affection and joy. I blinked and now there is a tooth.

What in the world am I supposed to do? This whole growing up thing is so hard to deal with emotionally, and it's seriously doing its best to rip my poor heart in two. I'm not ready. I'm not prepared. I can't take it. Yet I wouldn't have it any other way. It is such a conflict of emotion. It is similar [in idea, not intensity] to when I lay Lucas across my belly: He gets so excited and lunge-y as he tries to launch himself to the other side, but all the while he is leaving massive amounts of drool and slobber everywhere imaginable. The drool is gross and wet and cold and everywhere, but the giggles and fun are unbelievable. While Lucas is busy lunging and drooling and squealing, I am constantly trying to reconcile the warring feelings of intense adoration and "Ugh! Ick! Gross! Sooo wet!" It's weird. And hard. Sure, I could just not let him drool on me by not playing this game with him. Easy enough. But then I would miss out on all of the awesome parts of the game. The slobber and fun always win out.

I think what is making it especially hard is that I absolutely love, love, love this age. Lucas is getting mobile and more independent [though I use this word in its most conservative sense], and his ever increasing awareness and ability to express different emotions is a constant reminder of how he's not just this little baby but that he's a tiny person, an individual, with likes and dislikes and opinions and tolerance levels. And yet, while he is gaining new skills daily and developing into this bona fide miniature person, he is also still very much a baby, my baby. And that is how I want him to stay. I want to enjoy him in this baby-but-also-tiny-person stage forever.

I know it is ridiculous, but I already feel these baby days slipping away as he grows up more and more. Yes, I know it's ridiculous. I just am not sure I know how to handle the emotions that are squashing my heart more and more these days. Feeling that little tooth seemed to make my world start spinning a million miles an hour. I am trying so hard not to be that silly mom who bemoans the days gone by and blah blah blah. But the struggle is real, folks. Mom-hood is emotionally challenging, but oh so incredibly awesome.

In summary: I may blink 15 to 20 times in a minute. In an hour, I may blink 900 times. In a day, over 14,000 blinks probably occur during my awake time. In the span of  6 months, I have probably blinked close to 3 million times. So, in the most conservative of estimates, I have spent well over 100 hours blinking since Lucas was born, and that's not even counting sleep. No wonder time has flown.

I can't stop Lucas from growing up any more than I can stop blinking, so I need to find a way to make the time between every single blink count. It is only logical.

You can't stop the chub.

No comments:

Post a Comment