Baby M turned one this week. I can't get my head around it.
A couple of days ago, she dozed off in the car. I glanced back in the mirror and saw her sleeping and I had to pull over just to look at her. When she's asleep, she still looks like my tiny baby girl. Her little cheeks puff up and her mouth turns down at the corners. Just like it did when we brought her home from hospital. When I think back to that tiny newborn, it almost seems like a dream, like it happened to somebody else. The year has flown by, but then it seems it was a lifetime ago that we brought her home from hospital. Proud new parents with our beautiful bundle of joy.
A short time ago, I overheard two young mothers talking in John Lewis. The one was spooning something from a jar into her little ones mouth, he was enjoying regurgitating it and making a general mess. As she shovelled another spoon in, she said to her friend, 'I can't wait until he can feed himself'. It got me thinking. Why do we wish for the next step and then grumble that time flies?
When I think back, there are so many things that baby M did, that have slipped by without my realising. When she was tiny, she used to stretch and her little hands would twitch as though she was revving a motorbike. She used to make the most glorious squeaky sounds whenever picked up and of course there was a time I could rely on her staying in the same place when I put her down. I don't remember the last time she 'revved her bike', squeaked softly or stayed put, I suppose because I didn't know it was the last time. Had I known I'd have made an effort to commit the occasion to memory. And I suppose the same will be true for that John Lewis mummy. One day her baby won't need spoon feeding anymore. That time will have passed.
I think it's easy as a mummy to think of all the exciting things to come, first steps, Christmas, holidays.... there are so many things I can't wait to do with my much loved, long awaited baby girl. But when I find myself thinking like that, I stop and take a moment to be mindful of the present. What is my girl doing today? Well, she can sit on her rocking horse and make it rock, she loves to hold hands and do 'row row your boat', she says 'dear dear dear' a lot, and gives the most beautiful, loving kisses. And that's enough isn't it. It's more than enough, it's everything.
As mummies we can get carried away, planning for what's to come, with all good intentions of making it perfect, but let's not. Let's enjoy our little ones every single day, and not wish a moment of it away, because these are the perfect moments. So let's be in the moment, with them, exactly as they are, here and now.
Let's savour every minute. Enjoy every moment. Enjoy every age.