When you have your first baby, every one tells you how fast they grow up and encourages you to cherish every moment. You know they’re right, at least in theory. But between the lack of sleep and questioning every decision you make, you forget to cherish, at least as much as you should. The first birthday rolls around faster than you can blink your eyes and you’re wondering how your baby became a toddler.
When you have a second baby and a toddler, you know from experience that people are right: time does fly by too quickly and that first birthday will happen before you know it. But you’re constantly pulled in different directions and while you try to sit and stare, you always have the toddler in need of something… or destroying something, requiring your attention.
But when you have a 6 and 8 year old, you know without a doubt how fast time goes by. The older ones are more independent and you have more opportunity just to slow down and cherish this amazing baby. You do everything you can to slow down time. Naps are no longer strictly scheduled and milestones are met with the bittersweet knowledge that she’s growing too fast.
And as you sit cuddling your 8-month old during her 10:00 feeding, and you stare at her dimpled hands and tuft of hair, as you realize how much she’s grown now that she finally fits in that sleeper she’s worn for 5 months, your heart begins to ache. You remember that two hours earlier you sat in that same chair with your lanky 6-year-old listening to her read and you know that in six incredibly short years this baby you hold will be too big to carry, and too big to sit in your lap, and you’ll cuddle her in a different way as she reads to you. Your heart aches and burns with overwhelming love. You even wish that this precious little person could stay a baby forever. And yet, as you think of your 8 year old and 6 year old you know you wouldn’t trade one minute of the last 8 years. You’re glad that they are 8 and 6 and that you got the front row seat to their toddles, cute words and phrases, scribbles turned artwork, first days of kindergarten, and explorations into the world.
And so, as your heart is ready to explode with love for this tiniest, newest member of the family, as you acknowledge the fleeting time ahead of you, you slow down and cherish every moment. You ache knowing that she won’t be a baby forever, but remind yourself that there are some great memories to be made.