Ever since I found out I was pregnant with my son, the concept of time has absolutely blown my mind. It feels like it was so long ago, but it has all gone by so quickly at the same time. I’ve been told so many times since his birth to “enjoy your time with him, because it goes by so fast.” Initially, I thought, “Could that be any more cliche?”
But I quickly realized there’s a reason those old standbys exist — there’s truth behind them.
It seems like just the other day I was going to visit my son daily in the hospital, cuddling with him while he was all wired up and attached to machines that beeped and hummed. Yet, I look at him now, and it’s almost like he’s a different baby and the NICU world was a lifetime ago. In the blink of an eye, he went from a teeny little preemie I could carry around with one arm to a solid 20-pound infant I strained to hold using both arms (and juggling a million other bags on the way to daycare drop-offs every morning).
One day he was sitting in a bouncer, and the next he was far too big for it. The pile of clothing and gear he had outgrown grew bigger and bigger. Meals out at restaurants with a sleeping newborn turned into sharing food off our plates with a babbling and curious 8-month old. Family and friends would ask about his upcoming first birthday, and I would think, “That’s so far away!” And then I’d double check the calendar and realize it was only a few months away. How is that even possible?
The days are long and exhausting with daycare drop-offs, working eight-hour days, coming home, getting dinner on the table, and prepping to do it all over again for the next one. But they also blend together in a way that makes you question what month it is, like you’re Rip Van Winkle, sleepwalking through this chaotic, non-stop world. And so, while some days may drag on, overall months sometimes feel like only seconds have passed.
And even though some days are long — and sometimes difficult — I try to soak it all in. Because before I know it, my infant will be a toddler. So I am going to enjoy the baby months for as long as I can. Because those cliches are exactly right.