Wednesday, September 9, 2015

She's not a baby any more...

I blinked and she grew up.  How can so much change in such a short period of time?  I am starting to get a slight taste of what so many parents experience when they are sending their baby off to college, and tell them that it feels like yesterday that they were holding them in their arms for the first time.  How is it that when you are on the treadmill for a minute, it feels like an eternity of pain that won’t end, but a year with a child feels like a nanosecond that you would give anything to last just a little bit longer? 

And what is so ironic is how different I felt a short time ago.  Those first few sleepless nights felt like they would never end, and I was BEGGING for time to speed up.  Then once Zoe was sleeping through the night, I wished for one more middle of the night breastfeeding session surrounded by sweet silence with only the sound of her breath.  I remember maternity leave DRAGGING  and telling every stay-at-home mom I knew what saints they were for doing this job 24 hours of Every. Single. Day.  When the day finally came for me to go back to work, I would have given anything for just one more day.  One more ‘lazy’ afternoon of her tiny curled up body snuggled up on my chest. 

I wanted so badly for her to start crawling then walking so I would know that she was on track with all those ridiculous milestones designed to make moms paranoid, only to ask time to stop when she started running away from me.  (Side Bar – I think that the person who came up with the list of what your kid should be doing by each month of their life, is the same jerk who came up with the wedding check list on the knot that makes Brides turn 50 shades of cray because its 3 weeks out and you haven’t hand written your place cards yet.) 

I know it’s irrational, and I wish I could blame it on hormones, but every feeling that I experience as Zoe grows up contradicts each other.  I want her to be brave, independent, and confident.  But I want her to need me.  I want her to walk on her own and get more comfortable in her movements.  But I want to hold and carry her everywhere.  I get so excited every time she learns something new, and can do something on her own.  But I get sad that it is one less thing that she needs me for.  

So as I watch my little girl, who is no longer a baby, run straight into her classroom for the first day of preschool with a huge grin on her face, I felt so proud of that brave, independent, confident girl.  But I couldn’t help but shed a tear because she didn’t need me.  She had it under control.  She gave me my hug, blew me a kiss goodbye and that was it.  My first taste of saying goodbye.  My first step as a parent, needing to let go. 

When Logan and I first found out we were pregnant, I asked him what he was most excited about.  He said he was most excited about teaching her stuff.  Having this little sponge that we get to help learn about the world, and grow into a woman that is a reflection of both of us.  But what I’m quickly learning is that she is going to be teaching us a lot more than we will ever be able to pass along to her.  She has already taught me how to function on 15 minutes of sleep and caffeine, endless amounts of patience, how little you can care about your personal appearance when running errands, and most importantly, how to love UNCONDITIONALLY.  I’ve had more life lessons in 19 months than I can ever imagine giving her in 19 years.  I can’t wait to see what is in store for us… all I ask is… please slow down.

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