Monday, May 2, 2016

What Happened To My Tiny Baby?

 
I have lived here in Pennsylvania for all of my 32 years, and yet the changing of the seasons never ceases to amaze me.  Every single year I am full of awe when the trees sprout their first pale green leaves in the spring, and again when those tiny buds turn lush and shady in the new warmth of summer.  When they begin to turn in the autumn, I am once again astounded by the way time continues to march on, disappearing out from under me seemingly overnight.

Every year, without fail, I remark on these changes.  And every year, without fail, Chris is confused by my joy.  "This happens every year," he says.  "Why are you still so shocked?"  I am shocked because life is slipping away so quickly, and I had barely gotten a chance to enjoy the season that had already somehow passed.  I am shocked because it is beautiful.  I am shocked because even after 32 years, it is still breathtaking.

A small, but no less significant, version of this is occurring at my house.  As I notice and exclaim over the fact that there are suddenly leaves on the trees, I am also noticing and exclaiming over the fact that Kaliel is no longer a little baby.  She sits now - unassisted for short periods, if you sit her up in the right position - and is not content to just sit around grabbing at her toys.  I've been given the okay to start feeding her cereal and baby food.  When I hold her close to my chest, her legs and feet dangle into my lap.  I know logically that she is still small, but to me she is immense.  The fragile 4 pound baby who was torn too soon from my body is now 16 pounds of energy and emerging personality.  I am excited and proud, but I also feel a profound loss.

Chris is, of course, bewildered by my mixed emotions.  "Finally," he says, drawing giggle from her smiling mouth, thrilled that she is so much more responsive now.  He eagerly awaits the days when he can do things with her.  I felt the same, once.  But now that these baby days are slipping away from me faster than I can count them, I am not in such a rush. 

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