As the mom of young children, every single time I interact with a parent over the age of 45, without fail, I hear something along the lines of,
“Ooooooh, enjoy those sweet babies! They grow up so fast!”
And every single time I want to say,
“I know, I know, daggnabbit! Please, oh pretty please with whipped cream, sprinkles, and a big fat cherry on top, STOP reminding me!”
Because the reality is, I already know this all too well. For crying out loud, I’m watching it happen every single day. My daughter is at the stage where she is literally growing so quickly that I feel like she is changing before my very eyes. And these changes? They ain’t slowin’ down or stoppin’ for nobody.
Just yesterday, I looked over at her standing in the kitchen. She was sporting the cutest little dress with her chub…
I was going to say chubby little legs sticking out from underneath her dress. But, those little legs? Suddenly, they aren’t so chubby. What the heck happened to her rolls!? What happened to her squishy-wishy-I-just-wanna-eat-you-up baby fat!? SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT IN THE WORLD IS HAPPENING TO MY BABY!?
Just kidding. You don’t have to.
I already know it’s that whole “growing up so fast” thing…
I’m living it.
Each and every day is a thief, stealing another piece of my needy little baby and turning her into an independent human being. Just yesterday, the little girl who I thought would never be able to hold her own head up, walked right up to me, gave me a kiss and then asked “Mom? Mo’ geeps pease?” (translation: she wanted more grapes). Only 18 months old, and she already knows how to get what she wants. I swear it was only yesterday that we were walking through the grocery store and she said “Dadadada” for the very first time. And today? She’s speaking in full sentences. Just when I think she’ll never hit the next big milestone, she has already barreled her way through it and tackled the next one. She’s changing so fast. Her face is thinning, her vocabulary is growing, and her babyhood is slipping through my fingertips.
At this rate, I’m genuinely afraid that in another 18 months she’ll be married, with a full-time career, and throwing me in a nursing home. With every day that passes, I see her grow more independent, and cling to me less. Every time she runs to my feet, reaches up, and cries “mommy,” I savor it. I savor the way she clings to my leg whenever a loud truck drives by or she meets someone new. I savor the way she looks to me for protection and nestles her face in my shoulder. I savor the moments when my baby still needs and wants her mommy.
So, to all you parents who are so adamant about reminding me? I already know this won’t last, thank you very much. I already know that, one day way too soon, my daughter will be heading off to her first school dance, learning to drive, and comforting me as I nestle my face in her shoulder when she heads off to college.
One day, my baby will be all grown up, and I’ll be the one reminding every young parent how quickly the years fly by. One day, I’ll be home alone, sitting in the quiet, thinking about how much I miss the chaos, the sticky fingers, and the messy house. I’ll be thinking about how much I miss and need my baby.
But for now? I’m so thankful that my baby still needs me.
So, let’s stop with all this “growing up” talk. Because I’m currently living blissfully in denial, and enjoying every second of it.