Taking My Time

Jason had kind of a rough weekend. I'm not sure exactly why since it was a fun weekend. It could have been that all the extra stimulation had him feeling overtired--Saturday he played with a bunch of his friends in the morning and then got to visit a new house when we went to have dinner with our friends that evening. Or perhaps he's getting a new tooth. Maybe he was just in a bad mood. It's hard to say, but whatever the reason he was extra fussy, and it really started wearing on me after the first day.

There are a lot of times I find myself getting frustrated, even angry, or just feeling completely exhausted. Like I often do when I'm not enjoying my current situation, those times get me into a "wait it out" frame of mind, where I keep telling myself that it'll be over eventually. It's a pretty natural reaction, I think, and in some ways it's useful--it helps me keep going when I need to get through a tough spot. It's when you do it too much that it can be problematic.

I realized last night after Jason went to bed that one day I will put him down after holding him, carrying him, cuddling him, and that will be the last time I ever do it. I probably won't know it when it happens. In fact, it's likely that it'll seem so ordinary that I won't even be able to remember exactly the last time I do it. I thought about that for a while and this deep sense of sadness came over me, and it kind of surprised me because I didn't used to think that I'd be sentimental in that way. I obviously want him to grow up and I'm really curious to know what sort of man he'll be, but I'm also going to miss being able to rock him to sleep, to run my fingers through his hair as he rests his head against my shoulder, to feel him cling to me with his arms and legs as I carry him. So what I'm trying to do now is slow things down for myself and really savor the experience of taking care of my baby, because it really won't last very long.

Even in just the month or so since I last wrote, he's changed so much. He's been crawling now for about two months, so that's not exactly new, but lately he's been getting tantalizingly close to walking. He pulls himself to a stand easily now and has been standing freely more often and for longer durations. He's been feeding himself finger foods for a while now, but lately he's actually been getting good at getting it into his mouth. His babbling has seemed to be getting more purposeful, and in the past week or two we've been able to get him to imitate the sounds we make. I even think he's starting to use one of the signs we've been teaching him--it's hard to tell, though, if he's really signing or just playing with his own hands. Every day he gets a little more active, a little more inquisitive, a little more fun--he's just growing up so fast. I wonder what I'll remember about this time when I'm looking back on it from way down the road. But then, that's part of why I'm writing this, isn't it?


David Perlmutter:

I'm so glad you are realizing now how quickly this all goes. Congrats to you for noticing and being aware of all the wonderful and also the not so wonderful moments.
Colleen and I cannot wait to meet this wonderful child.

colleen kelley:

Mike- it is so great you are journaling this time in your life. Not only for memories but for reflection on the present. These babies do grow up sooooo fast and though each stage is wonderful- you can't get back the day before and even if they were cranky and they wore you out there is something about working through those days that make you even love them more. You are such an important part of their growth and world at that time- with good health and maturing they will wean away from their need of you and become way more independent but... all that you are doing now is helping them feel secure enough to grow to that space- each day is so important in their life and your parenting- it is so great you are aware and in that moment now. You are a wonderful father to Jason, i can tell from your words- he is such a lucky boy. Thanks for sharing with us- your words made me cry about all our wonderful memories of our baby days gone by but I am happy how fully we lived them with Hannah!

Tante Shvester:

I think my baby was about two and a half when I asked his doctor at what age did I no longer need to peek in on him sleeping to make sure he was OK. The doctor told me that I didn't have to do that at all.

I thought for a moment, and said that I'd probably do it anyway, then, just because I like peeking in on him sleeping.

Of course, now he's 18, and he thinks that it is super-creepy and an invasion of his privacy if I sneak in and peek at him sleeping, so I don't do it any more. Those 18 years went fast. I remember when he first sat up, crawled, walked independently. Now he's a man.

I'm sorry. You'll have to excuse me a moment while I get all misty. Carry on.