Hello. You are worried. AKA you are a mom.
You are worried if you are making the right decisions for you and for your baby. You are worried your child is sick, will get sick, may get others sick. You are worried about the eating, the sleeping, the playing, the moving. You are worried what your spouse thinks of you, your mother, your friend, your neighbor, that complete stranger who WILL NOT STOP STARING WITH THAT JUDGY LOOK. You worry about time. Too much. Not enough. You worry about energy. Not enough. Never, ever enough. You worry about yourself. And then you worry that you are worrying about yourself. And so you worry about your baby.
I. Can. Not. Change. That. I cannot. There is absolutely nothing I can say to myself, to my best friend, to a new friend, to a client, to my spouse, not anyone that will take away that worry.
So I won’t. I won’t tell you to stop your worry. But I will tell you to not forget. Stop. Just every now and then, and try so very hard to not forget who this little one is. Right now. In your womb, in the car seat (I hope you aren’t driving while reading this), in their bed, in that contraption that bounces and shakes and shushes, in their classroom, in your arms, in your heart. That little one right there is growing. (Yes, I know. That is what I’m so worried about.) And it is so essential for your wellbeing, and theirs too, to acknowledge this. Remember those little things. Right now. Write them down. Right now. Take a picture. Right now. Because when you move on to the next worry, you want to be able to look back and remember who they were. And when you remember who they were, you will remember who you were. For better or for worse. It may not take away today’s worry, or tomorrow’s, but it does help you see what happened to yesterday’s. You were worried, but they kept growing. They did that. You did that.
So today I’ll go first. A few things I want to remember about my little ones. And to go along with that, a few pictures from some of my “monthly” photo shoots of little Elliott. I use the word “monthly” loosely as none of these were taken on the actual month-iversary. And some are missing (what did I do with that other memory card?) But I think what I want to show is pretty evident in the ones I have chosen. How a fragile newborn has grown into a baby with personality. How a big sister is still the ever doting big sister I imagined she would be. Here are a few things want to remember about right now:
Elliott – Six Months
- You were an amazing sleeper. You are still, sort of, but not perfect. But I made the mistake of getting a bit sad when you slept through the night by 3 months that I wouldn’t get to snuggle you at night anymore. So you decided to reward me with visits the last couple of months. Frequent visits. Yet, somehow, despite all of that, I still put you in the good sleeper category. You like to sleep. You don’t fight it. And it didn’t seem to take you and I long to figure out what worked for you. That is such a blessing to this mom.
- I swear your hair is coming in red. Like a little teensy bit strawberry blond in the tiniest wisps of hair on the top and eye brows. And if it goes away I never want to forget how for just a few months I had the little red headed baby I always dreamed of.
- The pictures don’t lie, you really are the smiley-est baby out there. Your grin is huge. At first it was just for me, aw shucks. But soon after you lit up that grin for Dad. That was huge. Your big sister took some time to warm up to smiling to anyone but mom. So flashing that big grin when he walks in the door is quite a treat for him, and me. And now you light up for anyone and everyone, and especially your sister.
- I love how you love me. I will be working on who knows what, distracted, and suddenly look to find you staring at me. And the second I do there comes that big smile. When I pick you up you come in for the wettest slobberyiest (so many made up words in this post) kiss right on my chin. You kick your legs, grab my hair, and dive right in. It may be a cliché but it melts my heart every single time.
- Ever since you were a little baby, when you nurse you have to be holding my hand. At first you grabbed your whole fist around one little finger. Now your hand pats my hand, holds my arm, tickles my fingers. And if I am trying to multitask, or heaven forbid check Instagram on my phone, you will have none of that. You twist your arm as far around as you can without pausing for a second and remind me to turn my attention to you. Thank you for that reminder, little bud.
Caroline – Three years
- We knew you would love being a big sister, but I don’t think I realized how amazing you would be. Like the very best. You could make a career of it. And it is the best for me because when I get to watch you interact with your brother, bringing him toys, making him smile, reassuring his tears, I get to see how I mother. “It’s okay little buddy. I know. I know. I’m coming.” You show me that I am doing an okay job by being a little mother right along side me. One day this will drive him nuts. (Just ask my two younger siblings.) But for now, I can’t ask for anything better.
- Not a day goes by that I don’t get a chance to tell you how much I love you. You won’t let me forget. “Do you love me?” You ask. “What do you love me more?” You will say. And I respond “I love you more than…” filling in the blank with coffee/pizza/ice cream/whatever else we are enjoying at that very moment. You aren’t insecure. I know this is just your way of reminding me how much you love me. And the Lord knows I cannot ever be reminded of this too much.
- Your smile. Oh how it has blossomed. I see you smile frequently but capturing that for the world to see in pictures or in public was more of a challenge. You had more of the Chandler from friends smile for pictures if I asked you. Cute. But not really you. Yet now, if I ask to take a picture, you show me the sweetest smile stopping me dead in my tracks wanting to shout “Stop growing up!”
- You are so adventurous these days. Just last week you climbed a huge rope ladder at the Children’s Museum causing my heart to pause with each step. And the greatest part about your willingness to try new things, when you do it right, you look to me with such pride. You know your accomplishments are worth celebrating. And you know I want to be right there with you. May this never change.
- I knew you were excited for school, but I had no idea how it would make you shine. You can’t wait to get in the classroom, you can’t wait to get started with the day, and you can’t wait to share with me everything that you did. I don’t mind one bit that you don’t hesitate at the door. Your tenacity is exactly what you need to power you through life. And it reminds me to be confident too.
Such small little reminders of how these children are growing every day. I hope to find a better way to keep daily track of the moments I never want to forget. For now, I will use this space and share with you. At least I don’t have to worry that I won’t remember. What do you want to remember today?