Eight months have come and gone in a flash. Eight may seem like an insignificant milestone to some, but to me it feels like the most important number ever. My sweet boy isn’t a newborn babe anymore, and hasn’t been for a while, but every month birthday that passes yanks at my heartstrings like no other. Maybe T somehow knows he’s growing up, too, because he is much clingier lately. He’s always reaching for me. It could be that the separation anxiety phase is setting in, but I’ll stick with thinking that it is because he wants to hold onto me just a little bit longer. I want to hold him in my arms forever.
The neighbors are getting a new roof today, and the incessant banging is making the dogs bark which means that there is no morning nap to be had from T. For the first time in a while, I put him in his baby carrier to see if my movements will rock him to sleep like they used to. I breathe him in deeply. I hold his sweet head. We steal glances at each other. That feeling of overwhelming and deep rooted, primal love sets in again. I’m still amazed at this new kind of love, something I never knew I didn’t know I was missing.
These 8 months have been full of dualities. They have brought me the greatest joy and the greatest pain. The greatest elation and the greatest exhaustion I’ve ever experienced. The greatest frustration and the greatest peace. The closest yet furthest I’ve ever been from my husband. I’ve never had so much clarity in seeing my future direction, yet I still get lost in the enormity of my new responsibilities. A newfound sense of self-assuredness yet feeling completely clueless about how to be a mom.
I sweep aside his growing hair so I can kiss that sweet-smelling forehead. I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of his smell. I breathe in a little deeper, trying to imprint my memory with his scent of baby, lavender, and Dreft, so that when he is a little grown and not so sweet-smelling I can reach back into my brain and be able to inhale him again.
Women keep telling me to enjoy the moments, because they go by so quickly. I could never truly comprehend what they were talking about until now. He’s already so big. I hold back the tears when I put away [yet another] outfit he’s outgrown. I revel in delight with every new milestone he hits, every new skill he can do. I long for the days gone by of his newborn coos and milk-drunk smiles. The way he curled up just so when I carried him against my chest.
I know he has to grow up, it is the way of life. We each have many more lessons to teach each other. I guess I just never knew that the love of my life and my greatest friend would divide into two; my husband and the tiny little mirror image of him.