Something that’s been difficult for me in this whole parenting thing is appreciating the stage that Lucy is in when she’s in it. I find myself wishing she were old enough to sleep better, sleep through the night, be done teething, entertain herself better, eschew her diapers, and deliver the freshly folded laundry to the proper drawers. Ok, so slight hyperbole, but what I’m not doing enough of is simply appreciating what she’s doing now. And then I realize that this is what causes frazzled, middle-aged parents to shake their heads and sigh, “They grow up in the blink of an eye!”
As a parent, I’m letting that happen. I’m wishing away her precious and fleeting babyhood days for something bigger, better and ultimately, more convenient for me. Of course these early months are hard. Any parent or full-time nanny could tell you that. More acute than any of Lucy’s growing pains are my own as a parent slowly being drained of the selfishness I didn’t even know needed draining. A small, clingy, helpless child will do that to a person, just as that person did it to someone else, and so on as far back as we humans have been procreating.
And yet, when I pause between the exasperating moments and the counting down the minutes till Daddy comes home, I look at my baby and realize she’s almost walking. She’ll be a toddler before I know it. Her first year of life is 2/3 complete! I know that I will miss these baby things when they’re gone– the way she lights up with a smile and waves at her image in the mirror; her excitement as we pass by the light switch and she triumphantly flicks it off; her giggles when we play peek-a-boo over and over and over. She’s a sweet, innocent little gift, even if she is a terrible napper and clings to my pant legs half the day. It sounds obvious and simple, but I need to stop and marvel more every day, and allow myself to enjoy her little life, just as it right now.