I have gotten off track (already!) with my once weekly blogging goal. Traveling, eating and digesting twice topped off with a middle of the night wake up call filled my plate (literally and figuratively) over Thanksgiving. But we kicked off the holiday season, no less.
The start of this holiday season has been bittersweet. I’m so excited that my daughter can more independently experience and participate in the Thanksgiving feast and her two little hands can rip open a present on their own under the Christmas tree. But, I find myself looking at the “My Fist Thanksgiving” and “Baby’s First Christmas” memorabilia with an ache of days too quickly past. I was again reminded over the holiday when my seventeen-month old decided she needed playtime in the middle of the night how fleeting babyhood really is.
This isn’t the first time I’ve felt that way. The last year and a half have moved along at a break-neck pace. We’re now on her second holiday season. Where does the time go?!? It’s cliche, but true.
I don’t remember the last time I was up with her in the middle of the night. Disclaimer: we had an excellent sleeper. From four months old she was doing twelve hours a night. So, I don’t mind when things happen and I’m sleep deprived and zombiefied the next day. It’s so rare, it’s special (so long as I have coffee and nothing to do the next day). The middle of the night bond deep tiredness and lingering sleep deprivation hangover serve as tangible reminders of how fast babies grow and then aren’t babies any more. As a whole, that phase ends quickly as a new phase is ushered in just to be replaced again.
Just as quickly, I forgot how tired losing those night time hours could make you. How did I ever do it night after night when she was an infant? How dangerous was I behind the wheel during daylight hours at that point in time? As infants and tiny babies, Momma is needed, wanted, required all the time. We’re the food source. My baby, however, isn’t really a baby anymore. She’s a toddler. And she just doesn’t need me all the time. She can do so many things on her own now, and demands that it is so. And her abilities grow by leaps and bounds daily it seems. Letting go is both joyful and painful.
But, while she is willfully expressing her independence by throwing food on the floor she happily scarffed down yesterday, sometimes, she still wants her Momma. And for these rare and continually fading Momma moments, I am thankful. I cherrish each and every one and try to cement them all into my memory becuase I know she won’t always need me. However, she will know she can always count on her Momma, even in the darkest hours, just like I do.