Thursday, September 24, 2009

Where did my newborn baby go?

My baby is growing up too fast! I know it seems silly to say that already. After all she is only 6 weeks old and just now reaching 10 pounds, but in only 6 short weeks she has changed so much! She was born at 7 lbs, 5oz, small and dainty (though she did, even then, have very round chubby cheeks). She has filled out quite nicely and now the adjective "robust" comes to mind as I look at her sleeping in her bassinet. Her thighs and belly have rounded out to match her, now even chubbier, cheeks. And the bassinet, which had so much room for her to stretch out in when we first brought her home, now leaves her very little room to grow. The crib will have to be cleaned up and assembled this weekend so she will have somewhere to go in the next few weeks when she is officially too big for her newborn bed. Though I am so very grateful she is healthy and growing so well, it saddens me to think I am already having to say good bye to her newborn days. I wonder why the time really does fly by so quickly and why babies grow up too fast.
Speaking of growing up too fast, not long ago my oldest daughter celebrated her 11th birthday. We held her party on the same day that the baby hit exactly one month old. If you are a parent yourself I do not have to tell you that I really do not know where all the years have gone. It really does seem like days ago that I brought my first daughter home from the hospital and laid her lovingly in the crib that will now house her baby sister. I was watching my oldest and youngest girls recently as the former held and snuggled the latter. As so often happens these days, tears sprung to my eyes and I found myself pondering the eleven years of my motherhood. It occurred to me that if the next 11 years go as quickly as the past 11 years have gone, my first child will be 22 years old before I know it. I was 22 years old when I got pregnant with her!
These thoughts threaten to truly depress me at times. I really wish I could freeze the time for just a while, so I could enjoy my children's youth longer. I sometimes even wonder why does God let the time fly so fast? But then I think about the sleepless nights, the ill-timed messy diapers, the unexplainable fussy times, and my feelings of being overwhelmed that are also a part of the newborn experience. The truth is if it lasted any longer I would probably go crazy but if it went any quicker I probably would be deeply depressed. God has timed it all so perfectly!
I also think about all the fun that is still to come. If I had frozen my oldest child's infancy I would have missed out on her adorable toddler stage, her precocious pre-school years, and watching her grow from a tiny, helpless infant into a beautiful young lady. No, we cannot make our children stay little for long. We cannot make them babies forever but we can try our best to enjoy the experience as long as it does last.
I realize that I really don't want to stop time from passing. I could not handle the extreme exhaustion that I felt the first three to four weeks of the baby's life for any longer than I had to. I would not want to be forever stuck with my post-partum weepiness (or my post-partum body!). And I definitely don't want to rob my children of the amazing experience of growing up and developing into the people God created them to be.
Instead of focusing on the gloomy thought of my children's passing childhood I will try to remember to slow down and take pleasure in each moment with them. I will also remember that as a stay-at -home/home schooling mother I am blessed enough to not have to miss even a minute of their fleeting youth!

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