Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Not Wanting to Forget

Today, while leaving story time, I saw a woman with her newborn. The baby girl was so tiny, just over a week old. Seeing that precious new life, as I struggled to switch my chunk-a-lunk from one arm to the other, I felt an ache in my heart. I swallowed the lump in my throat as I looked down at my smiling infant, realizing in that instant that she is growing so fast. All too soon she will be crawling, then walking and talking, and my sweet little infant will be growing into the person she one day will become.

When I found out The Little One was growing inside me, I vowed that I would soak in every moment of her infancy. I knew then that she would be my last pregnancy, my last birth, my last baby brought home from the hospital. She was the last life that I would bring into this world. The Little One is the last of my babies that I will hold on my chest as she contently sleeps, lulled by the beat of my heart, comforted by the smell of my skin.

At night when I rock The Little One to sleep, I try to memorize every feature, every dimple, every roll. I hold her tight and smell her skin. I sometimes hold her while she sleeps in my arms, knowing that I should be laying her in her crib, but also that I am making a memory. I remember all too well, how quickly the Big One became independent and no longer wanted to be held or rocked and I want to hold on to these moments in time for as long as I can.

My favorite time of the day is the early morning, when everyone else is asleep. The Little One wakes early, and we have an hour or two when it is just the two of us. It is a time for me to focus on only her, without feeling guilty that I am making the Big One jealous, or not sharing my time fairly. Everyone is asleep, so I am not consumed with daily chores, making dinner or getting ready for the day's outing. Sometimes I just hold her and watch her every move while she nurses, I soak in her facial expressions, her movements, praying that I will never forget this time, but knowing that one day soon, I will be struggling to remember.

And though, I love to watch her grow, to hear her learn to laugh, to see her learn new things, it is with a heavy heart. These days are passing far too quickly. Just four short months ago we were bringing her home from the hospital, and already I've forgotten how tiny she was. If it weren't for photographs, I'd have forgotten that I could cradle her tiny little head in the palm of my hand. I would not have remembered that her tiny little foot was barely the length of my index finger.

So now, at the end of the day, when I'm tired and needing a break, I will rock a little more slowly. I will hold her just a moment longer. I will breathe deeply when I hold her close, inhaling her sweet smell. And when I think I may be forgetting this time that I hold so dear, I will have this blog to remind me of how it once was.

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1 comment:

  1. This nearly made me cry. The Boy stopped wanting to cuddle very early on. He refused to be rocked to sleep by about 9/10 months. The Girl is almost 10 months old and still loves to be rocked and cuddled. I'm taking advantage of this as much as I can and probably coddle her too much because of that. I don't really care, though. I know it will be over so fast and will be sad I didn't take advantage of it when I could.