Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tempus Fugit

I've often looked back on my life and marveled at how much has changed in a short period of time. In high school, I looked at how much I'd matured since elementary school. In college, I looked at how independent I'd become since high school. As a young adult, I looked at how self-sufficient I'd become since college. As an older adult, I looked at how my relationships and responsibilities had changed since I was younger. But as huge as those changes seem, they pale in comparison to how much in my life has changed over the past three months.

Three months ago today, I woke up at 2 in the morning and knew that my life was about to take a huge, dramatic turn. I even lay awake for a few hours before telling Herb I was in labor, just to give myself time to absorb the reality that in the next few hours, I would be holding our baby. And less than ten hours later, I was. Even after being pregnant for nine months, being aware of everything I ate and exposed myself to and how it would affect the baby, the reality of having a human being in my arms who is dependent on me for everything he needs was astounding.

Even more astounding is how much he has already grown and learned in the three months that have gone by! He's gone from being a blob who couldn't control his own muscles to a curious person who looks intently at people, who smiles and laughs, who reaches for toys, who recognizes mommy and daddy, who interacts with people and things around him, who kicks and stretches and bounces and wriggles.

And because of him, I have learned so much in those same three months. I learned that I can function without sleep a lot better than I thought I could. I learned that letting a baby cry is not the end of the world. I learned that Daddy and Mommy don't always have the same ideas about parenting and that's not the end of the world, either. I learned that hormones, while useful, can also be terrible. I learned that losing the baby pooch is just as hard as everyone says it is, but much less important. I learned that sunrises are much more beautiful when shared with a nursing baby. I learned that almost anything that HAS to get done can be done one-handed. I learned that a lot of things I thought HAD to get done, don't really. I learned that a happy baby is more important than an immaculate house. I learned that with the right husband, you can have both. I learned that babies don't care if your hair is washed; they'll grab onto it anyway. I learned that a baby smiling into your face with recognition and delight is one of life's most breath-taking moments. I learned that having a baby who looks just like his daddy is an unexpected source of pride and joy.

I can only imagine all the wonderful things that both of us will be learning over the next three months...and the next three years...and the next three decades...

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