As my daughter approaches her first year I am astonished, mystified, bewildered (insert every adjective you can think of!) at how quickly time has passed. Everyone tells you and everyone warns you but nothing prepares you for how quickly time races by once you have a child. Looking back now I sometimes wonder if I wished my daughter through her first year and somehow wished the time away.
When I was up every 2 hours to nurse my daughter, I wished she would sleep 6 hours straight. Now looking back, I miss those romantic evenings for two we had. Just her and I, quiet and still, holding her in my arms all snuggly and warm. Did I wish those special evenings away?
Those times when she would fall asleep for hours in my arms but wake up suddenly the second I put her down in her crib. At the time it was frustrating and quite literally immobilizing and I wished she would busy herself without me so I could get things done. Now the tables have turned and it is she that is too busy painting or dancing to cuddle on the couch for a nap. I miss being her makeshift bed and the hours I spent holding her in my arms. Did I wish that away?
Hindsight with motherhood, as with most things, is 20/20. I feel I’ve come away with a lot more insight but my recollection of the events that caused this wisdom is certainly tinged rose-colored. I remember feeling exhausted, sore and weak. This hampered my ability to enjoy those precious moments that would soon become milestones that we were passing at breakneck speed. I could despair and beat myself up with my well-used mothers-guilt baton but instead, I’m using the wisdom of the past to teach me that in each day there are millions of moments worth savoring.
So today when my daughter crawled up to me and tugged at my pants I took a mental picture and held it close to my heart because I know this too shall pass. When she behaves strange with new people and just wants her mama, I will snuggle her close and savor it because I know that this stage will see its end. And when she reacts a bit overly dramatically over a scrape, I will embrace the moment by clutching her.
With all endings come new beginnings. With the end of her being a baby comes the beginning of her being a toddler and I’m looking forward to all the wonderful discoveries of life she’ll show me. And with the end of her being a toddler will come the beginning of her being a kid and I’m looking forward to the s-l-o-w process of letting her establish her own life and witnessing a bright and strong little girl making her own decisions. Yes I’m looking forward to treasuring all of these wonderful phases but make no mistake…I will be wishing her teen years away.
Lena Hassan is a loving mother to two young girls, living in Ottawa Ontario. She’s a freelance writer who enjoys good eats, good reads and good company.