Monday, August 29, 2011

Big girl

A few nights ago I had my very first real and true parenting moment.

It happened after Anna went to bed.

I walked by her room. Looked at her empty crib. And tried really hard not to cry. (The one, lone toy and her two baby blankets laying inside made this extremely difficult, however.)

My baby was sleeping in a big girl bed.

Sniff, sniff... She's so not a baby anymore.

Up until now, I understood when other Moms talked about sobbing as they put away the little clothes their baby no longer fit into. I just didn't have my own experience. I got it - but I didn't relate 100%.

Now I get it.

It's very exciting that Anna's getting bigger and reaching new milestones and becoming more and more like a little kid instead of a baby. It's fascinating to see her develop and to discover how much she understands and comprehends. But at the same time - it's sad to think that she's growing out of the baby phase. It's sad to think about how quickly that time goes.

The other night, when I lay with her in her bed as she drifted off to sleep, I had a fleeting moment where I thought "Maybe I shouldn't lay here until she falls asleep. She'll need it every night. It'll start a bad habit that we might not be able to break for a long time."

Then I looked at her cute little chubby hand, opening and closing over her soother (she plays with it to get to sleep) and I reached out and stroked her soft skin on that delicate hand. I ran my finger over her eyebrow in a soothing motion, watching her be lulled to sleep by my presence. And I thought to myself, "How long?"

How long do I have before she won't need me (or want me) around, touching her and hugging her and kissing her? How long will it be before we're too big to fit into bed together and she'd rather sleep by herself? How long until she's an honest-to-goodness big girl, asserting her independence and no longer in *need* of Mommy?

Yes, she's only 19 months (almost), so I may be getting ahead of myself here. But man, those 19 months went fast. Now I find myself wishing for time to slow down. I want to savour every moment.

So, baby experts be damned. I'll take our bad habits for as long as I can get them.

Because there's nothing like laying in bed with my little girl, cuddling her close and watching her eyes close as she drifts off into a happy, secure sleep.

That, I've discovered, is what this life thing is all about, isn't it?

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