You know how when you were a kid, the days seemed to last forever? And a year? You felt like you’d never get to the end of it.
I’m not sure how this was possible since the mechanics of time obviously haven’t changed and we were all on the hamster wheel of the school year after the age of 4, but that’s just the way it was. Maybe things were calmer back then and the world wasn’t trying to prep us for college while we were in preschool. Or maybe that slowness is simply part of the beauty of childhood.
Whatever it was, I miss it. Especially right now, since my proverbial hamster wheel is spinning out of control.
I mean, my baby turned 6 months old yesterday. SIX MONTHS OLD! I don’t understand how this is possible since I feel like I only gave birth a month ago. But it was, indeed, 6 months ago.
Suddenly, she’s sitting up. She’s figuring out how toys work and learning cause and effect. She’s teething hard and chomping on everything in sight. She’s starting to crawl. (Well, one little crawl backward and one little crawl forward yesterday, but it’s something!) She’s making her opinions known—very known. And the other day, she was desperately trying to communicate with a 13-month-old.
I feel like I should prop my eyes open, Clockwork Orange–style, because if I so much as blink, she’s going to be a year old. And I’ll blink again and she’ll be getting her driver’s license.
She burst into this world fast and furious, just four hours after I started having contractions, and that apparently set the pace for these past few months. I’ve been in a sweaty, messy, leaky-boobed, half-dressed, sleep-deprived, on-the-go haze since August, and I’m only now starting to come out of it.
That sounds awful, I realize, but it hasn’t been. In fact, life has been wonderful, and I adore the newborn stage, so I haven’t really cared about that litany of superficial horrors. My little girl is a delight. All joy and dimples and perfectly quizzical expressions and love.
Once I made a conscious effort to slow down, I was knocked over by the force of that love. It hasn’t changed how fast everything else around me is going or how crazy life as a mom of two is, but it has made me savor the day-to-day moments in a different way…even as this poor kid naps in a carrier or stroller as I shuttle her brother to preschool, play dates and appointments. Even as I cram as much work as possible into the hours that both kids are sleeping. Even as I fall off the hamster wheel more than I’d care to admit and have to keep picking myself up, dusting myself off and starting over again.
It may not always look pretty, but my life feels pretty damn perfect to me. I only wish that I could slow down the next few months and get my baby to stay a baby just a little while longer.