Time is fleeting. It is getting away from me. I look at Rafa and she seems so grown, especially now that she’s really learning to talk, to communicate. She’s singing. She watches me sing and she sings along. I literally see her watching me, watching as my mouth moves and she follows along. It is an awesome thing to be witness to but there is another side of this awesomeness.
I love watching her learn. Watching any child learn is like what it must have been like to watch the first human discover fire. Oh, that spark. But the more she learns, the more that means she’s growing, and the more she grows the less she becomes my baby. I know the cliché that She will always be my baby. I know that metaphorically she will [always be my baby] but literally that’s impossible. She can’t always be my baby, nature won’t allow it. It will push her forward the way it has to. I understand it, I just don’t have to like it.
This other side of awesome feels like a hole in my heart that smothers my breath and pushes at my tears. It isn’t a good feeling but one that I take a dark pride in. See, there was a time not that long ago that I couldn’t wait for her to get older. The newborn phase was not strong ground for me. It worried me because maybe that meant I wasn’t the kind of mother I always thought I would be. But this other side of awesome, has taught me that I am that mother if for no other reason than because I want to keep them mine forever. Don’t we all? At some point, we all want time to stop.
So I capture too many pictures and take to many videos and write too many posts so that maybe I could hold onto these fleeting moments and remember every last one of them. The small moments, the quiet moments, the big moments, the birthday moments, the silly moments, the annoying moments – ok, maybe not the annoying moments – the bedtime moments, the first time moments, the bath moments, the laughter moments, the skinned knee moments, the aha moments. I want to remember them all.
This morning she found a small green box with a ribbon on top that I use to store my bracelets. She brought it to me to see and said,
“Mira, Mami. Dejó Santa Claus.” – Look Mami. Santa Claus left this.
I melted. She was so excited at this discovery. Her smile was pure happiness both at her discovery of the box and the being able to show me. She had only this year started to understand that Christmas is a “thing” and now, months later, she was making a connection between a gift box and Santa.
Some good comes from watching how fast she is developing. The realization that time really does not stand still has helped me nuzzle into the baby-ness of Santiago. I know he will not stay a baby forever either and that before I know it he will be singing along to the songs I sing him. He is just starting to stand on his own but still prefers to crawl since he moves like a cheetah on all fours. He’s fast. He smiles and laughs so often that you would think you’re watching a performance of a happy baby on a television show. He throws a ball so well I think he might be a baller when he grows up – he’s 10 months. He wants to be held and cuddled and snuggled and picked up. This is so interesting to us because his sister was not cuddly or snuggly or hold me type. Not at all. They’re quite different in this way.
The other side of awesome is bittersweet. Without the movement of time I can’t make new memories. And isn’t that what I want to hold onto? Isn’t that the point? I am excited to see the kind of people these kids are going to be while at the same time wanting to keep them here, right now, forever.
This is going to be a major problem…