Today I had to slip on a sweater. Not because the air conditioning was too cold, not because I had a slight chill from overpopulating my water bottle with ice-cubes. No, the air had shifted. In one simple movement, I declared this beautiful summer over.
This summer has left me full of memories, lessons, love and blueberries. It was my very first summer as a mother and man, I can’t get enough of this stuff. The days passed quickly, as summers tend to do, but even more so than before because of the steps. The steps that get us from wake up to night-night are rhythmic and predictable and if I’m not careful they steal days right from under my nose. The “hi handsome’s” and “no thank you’s” and “kiss for mama?” and “the mama’s on the bus go shh shh shh’s” can mash together, separated only by new tricks. When this summer started, I could leave my son in the center of my bed and deliberate between outfits, brush my teeth, put on mascara and return to that find my sweet boy rolled a time or two moving a grand total of nine inches. June brought scooting, July carried in crawling and August left us with a curious child that pulls up on anything and everything desperate to stand. Somewhere between nursing breaks, stacking blocks, diaper changes, bouncing to sleep, cleaning the high chair tray, strolling through the neighborhood and smoothing bubbles over bellies and backsides, he changed. He is undeniably a baby to the untrained eye, but to me, his every day companion, he is something more.
He is a little boy.
I have spent the summer wishing away hours upon hours spend bouncing and shh shh’ing him to sleep. I’ve ached to not be clawed and yanked in directions I never thought possible while nursing a minimum of five times a day. I’ve stared at the calendar and flipped through the months left of not being able to eat the foods that feed my soul more than my stomach. And in all that wishing- I almost didn’t notice I nearly wished away my baby’s babyhood. This window of time is so magnified and consuming that it feels as if it goes on forever sometimes. But when I step back and really look at it, it’s hardly any time at all. Soon he will wake up in the morning and drink orange juice. He will leave drips on the toilet seat. He will play on his own. He will walk with his friends and eat his dinner with a fork. And at the end of a long day he will say goodnight, walk up the stairs and crawl into bed. “The days are long but the years are short” is written on my heart so that I never again wish away the sweetest days on earth.
And now, a photo homage to the most gratifying summer yet- my first summer as a Mama:
You’ve been wonderful to us.