I know for a fact I'm going to regret not documenting more of this experience. Ten months have flown by (the people who told me "don't blink" really weren't kidding) and I feel like I haven't done nearly enough to preserve this tender time in my daughter's life. I have a baby book and pictures and videos and an obscene amount of clothes in the attic just waiting for me to pick them up and marvel at how tiny they are, but none of that seems like enough.
I was talking to a mom of two month old twins the other day. I saw the fear and hopelessness on her face when she asked me things like "when do they start sleeping better?" and "when can I put them down without them screaming to be picked up?" and I remembered those feelings well. At least well enough to be able to give her the best reassurance I could, which was simply "Some day. Trust me." But at the same time I was struck by how distant those feelings really are. I asked the same questions of other more "seasoned" moms when I had a two month old, and never felt satisfied with the answers I got. I remember thinking "I can't wait until she starts to entertain herself a little bit and doesn't need me for every second of every day." Now I find myself thinking "I miss the days when she actually wanted to snuggle without trying to crawl over me for a toy." I look at her face and wonder when in the hell she became a PERSON instead of a squishy blob of newborn.
It's bittersweet to watch her grow up. On our worst days, I'm wishing she was 5 years old and going to school during the day and going to bed at night without any help from me whatsoever. I imagine vacations without her and soaking in the tub with bubbles and candles and a book and no interruptions. On our best days, I'm holding her as tight as I can, trying to memorize the weight of her in my lap or the feeling of her hand wrapped around my finger, and begging her to be a baby forever. I'm not sure there's anything in between. I'm excited to see her become her own person with passions and dreams, and terrified of not being needed anymore. I guess that's a balance I still need to find. I want to be able to look forward to the future, but I don't want to wish this away either. Maybe by the time I get around to writing in here again I'll have figured it out. Here's hoping.