I remember when my first son was born and I looked at him the day after I gave birth and was amazed that he was mine, that he was so perfect and that I was bowled over by the love that I felt for someone who had yet to do more than peep at me and eat.
It is probably among the most common things people say to new parents .. "watch out it all goes so fast". Yet in those first few months - you know the ones where at day one as you walk out of the hospital after you gingerly took at least 10 min or more to dress child (because before you have children that hand knitted outfit with buttons seemed so adorable for picture taking - and as you did it you were afraid the nurses would get some sort of beep as you tried to put child into it, who was not still, and you did not want to break them getting them dressed). You took at least another 10 min putting them in the car seat, was their head really supposed to drop like that - I mean you bought the baby neck pillow but was that suffocating the child? You accomplish all of that and you walk out of the hospital with your bundle of joy. I, of course, had to sit next to the car seat in the back, installed by the police station in town because that too looked a bit daunting when out of the box, to make sure 1) child was breathing 2) held my hand under said wobbly head because that neck was way to little for what was obviously a design flaw with such a heavy head. That took me a while to write and those first few days, few months all seem to go somewhat fast but really long too. There were sleepless nights - my particular bundle of joy enjoyed sleeping either on top of my chest - which translates to child sleeps and you breathe or with us in bed which also translates to me and my rather sizable husband having a sliver of the edges of our bed while small person took over the middle. Sleep deprivation sure skews how "fast" things go.
As they go from those odd little tubs you put in the bathtub to wash them to rubber duckies and other toys - most of which involve splashing you - you start to think well maybe it goes a little fast - after all the design flawed neck/head issue resolved quickly, the sleep situation took about 2 years to move him out you know just in time for his brother to move into the spot (see above as same layout). You watch those milestones like a hawk and let me tell you if they don't hit them within a time - well time is not going so fast then is it?
Suddenly just as your back has finally straightened back from having walked in a semi crouch as they learned to walk, navigate stairs and you were a human shield for this super fast person - another design flaw - the balance thing obviously needs some rethinking - they walk they fall you pick up -- repeat oh about a zillion times. So they are walking, having playdates, you made some friends with the moms, you may even start going out once in a while with friends without fear of having say spit up on your shirt or having to design Patton worthy plans for your husband to follow while you are out. My friend Dori and I sat dutifully front row as we learned about Pre-K and signed up our little ones and then there they were holding hands, backpacks bigger than them and off to school. They finished and as we took them to lunch - sigh it did seem kind of to have sped up.
Second children seem to go even faster I think - maybe because of all the multitasking - no time to consider sleepless nights and wobbly neck issue as much and somehow they are hitting those milestones - rolling over just in time to not have slightly older sibling use them as a landing post - ahh self preservation.
I find I am so busy that while I feel that time is flying it is also packed with all that I want to do with them and all that I need to do with them that I do not have that much time to ponder the "it all goes so fast" unless somehow I feel I need to impart this bit to a newly pregnant mother. This past weekend suddenly though - WHAM!!!! put on the brakes. No I mean seriously slow it down, down shift, or whatever it somehow went from 60 miles an hour to the Daytona lap 499. My 10 year old son who has mentioned that he is noticing girls, not those in his class who are still friends only, but 18-21 year olds are "smokin'". He doesn't talk much but I like to make sure that I let him know we can talk and that he can say smokin' but understand the difference between compliment and creepy.
This past weekend he was bit tongue tied when we went to eat at this place on the beach - he was looking around at the pretty girls in the bikinis and a part of me just wanted to have him still play w the theme bag all the kids got with their meal. My baby is going to be move from baby to toddler to child to ohhhhhh no close to 'tween and then da da daaaa teenager (sigh, eye roll, fear). On the way home from the weekend place we stopped at an outlet mall and he asked for Nautica body spray because he knew cologne was not happening with me.
It goes to fast - did I miss anything - how would I know I was busy enjoying them, doing for them, you know all the stuff I just wrote before and am repeating because how did we go from rubbery duckies to Nautica????? I guess I just have to do what I have always done - deep breath - happy memories and enjoy the new ride. It is all part of the amazing men they will be. I love looking at their pictures with the faces so cherubic, toothless gums showing in a smile and remember for every back ache there was double the great moments we shared as we moved forward. Even in writing this blog I realized that it may have gone a little slower at the beginning but I blinked and we went from 3 years to 10 years old in that moment.
So yes I bought him the Nautica - and full disclosure admit that the nice smell also did this weird thing where I remembered boys who I liked wearing a similar scent when I was a girl (that seems to have gone fast too) - and I look forward to helping him stay on the racetrack, eye on the prize and enjoying the speed. I will always be his Pit Boss in the race - there to make assesments, change necessary tires and provide guidance through the parenting headset -- but in the end the whole point is to go fast and enjoy the ride as much as the moment.