Everyone says that once you have kids, the days are long but the years are short. They aren’t kidding. My youngest is about to turn two and I can’t help but feel like the end of babyhood is coming at me like a freight train. While I won’t miss the many challenges that come with tiny ones, like spit-up, sleeplessness or packing half the house every time we go out, I’m finding this birthday rather bittersweet. The transition from the age of one to two feels extra monumental with our second (and probably our last) baby.
With our firstborn, I’m not so sure I savored the small things quite as much, taking for granted the fact that I would surely have baby #2 to soak in all the little moments. I really did try to follow all of that newborn parenting advice, like extra hair sniffing and enjoying the middle of the night cuddles. Yet somewhere in between the oldest’s milestones, tantrums and endless ear infections (because…preschool), time just slipped away. With our second’s second birthday on the horizon, I wonder: did I smell my baby enough? When did she outgrow all of those onesies? How is it that she talks in complete sentences and actually has an opinion of her own? I’m struggling more and more each day to hold on to the “little” in my little girl.
So before she celebrates her big day, I’m vowing to take the next 30 days, the last time we’ll count her age in months rather than years, to cherish all that will forever make her my baby.
We will snuggle and sing more. I will video her wiggly dance, again and again. I will work less so we can play more. I will be truly present. There will be extra giggles, snacks and splash pad visits. This time around, I decided there are no rules to follow on when to ditch the sippy cup, binky or crib. I will read to her more, smile at her more and pray with her more. The dishes will wait, the laundry will wait and Facebook will certainly wait. There is nothing like children to teach you that time is a most precious commodity.
I know that before I blink, the baby who toddles through our living room will walk across the stage to accept her diploma, down the aisle to hold the hand of her love and before long find herself embracing a baby of her own. I won’t look back on this time with any regrets. Even through my soon-to-be two year-old is no longer a baby…she’ll always be my baby.