I was forwarned

My baby girl turns 3 months old tomorrow. Back when I was pregnant, my husband and I promised ourselves that we would do whatever it took to make it through that first three months. “It’ll be hell,” we told ourselves, “but we’ll make it through somehow, and soon we’ll be on to bigger and better things.” Neither of us were baby-people to start with, and we both agree that our son is so much fun at his current age. It seemed harmless to focus on the future. Only last night I was nursing K and looked down to discover that she was holding onto my finger. Wait, she can’t do that yet. Except she can. And she should. After all, she’s 3 months old. Suddenly, I realized that the milestone we’d been yearning for was finally upon us, and our little girl had grown accordingly. The days of a tiny bundle of joy practically nestled in our hands, barely opening her eyes, crying and sleeping and eating her way through life had passed by. She’s our last, ideally, and now that those three months are over, I desperately want them back. How could I have let them slip by so quickly? How could I not have realized that they really do grow up so fast, as everyone always says? I look back to see if I enjoyed them, relished them, and recorded them in all the tangible and intangible ways that I should have. The answer is no, of course. I did my best, loved every last day in fact, but in hindsight it still doesn’t seem like enough, not now that it’s over. So today I spent a good deal of time just lying on the floor with K and singing to her, memorizing the little cleft in her chin and her round baby face and promising myself that from now on I’m making a concerted effort to focus on the present. Harmless though it might seem, the future has it’s place, and I’ll get there soon enough.

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