May 28, 2010

The speed of life

          Yesterday a friend came for a visit with her sweet, precious little six month-old daughter. As I held that baby she nuzzled against my chest, and I wanted to cry. A few hours later, when I took this picture, the tears did come. There is no hint of my baby girl here. She's all toddler. And she is growing up way too fast!

I remember when my daughter was born, everyone told me, "Enjoy every minute, it will go by fast." I thought to myself, how fast can it really go?" In fact, there were periods when I secretly hoped time would speed up. Those were days when I was exhausted from breastfeeding every two hours around the clock. Getting a shower was a major accomplishment. I rarely ever left the house. At times I just wanted to get through it and move on. Now, I want those days back.
          In the movie Click, Adam Sandler has a special remote control that enables him to fast forward through certain events or periods of his life. Predictably, he gets to the end and is filled with regret. I haven't missed a thing. In my daughter's first year and a half, I have been away from her for probably no more than a combined 72 hours (I know, I need to get out more).
          Even so, I want my own remote control, enabling me to rewind life and go back to relive my daughter's first year. I want the opportunity to savor each moment again. The good. The bad. Even the ugly. I want this sweet, precious little six month old to nuzzle at my chest again.
     At the very least, I want a pause button I can push so she can stay just as she is now a little bit longer. She is changing at warp speed. And looking back the details of the early months are already fuzzy.
          Don't get me wrong. These are good times. I am having a ball with my daughter. She is so much fun. She is exploring the world, eager to learn new things. Watching her is such an incredible joy I feel as if I will burst. But in the blink of an eye, she will be going off to kindergarten. Then before I know it, starting high school. And college...
          I know all moms feel this way. But I think it is possibly more pronounced for me because she will be my only child. I gave birth to her when I was 40, and due to my age my husband and I do not plan to have any more children. So I will only get to live these moments once. Most days I feel at peace with that. But not every day. Just last week a woman I know told me she was pregnant with her second child. I found myself in my car crying. The reaction took me by complete surprise.
          I did not plan to become a mom so late. That's just the way life played out. I had actually given up on the dream, so I consider it nothing short of a miracle that I have a child. And I thank God for her each and every day. I am humbled He felt I was worthy of such a precious gift. I've got one shot at motherhood, and I am going to do my best to enjoy every moment. No matter how quickly it passes by.


  1. Beautifully said! I feel the same way all the time -- how did my little one just turn 7?

    There's an amazing song from the musical "Big" (based on the Tom Hanks movie) that sums up how you're feeling. I can't listen to it without crying. Here are the lyrics...

  2. Wonderfully expressed. I expect that forty years from now, you still have these same feelings....that strange combination of "no time has passed" and "where did it go?"

  3. My daughter has been asking if there really are magic wands that could turn her back into a baby so she can remember better. That longing for time past starts early!! Keep telling your daughter stories of when she was 'little' - it will help both of you remember.

  4. I can most definitely relate. My husband laughs at me all the time because I'll make a cradling motion with my arms and say, "...but he was once just this little bundle!"

  5. What a doll, and yes, it goes by at warp speed.

  6. This is great, and written very well. I look forward to reading your book when it's finished.

  7. She has gorgeous eyes! I know how you feel. I have only one too--not by choice--but I feel so blessed to be able to enjoy every moment even though it sometimes seems like it goes so fast. :)

  8. Hi Elizabeth!

    Your girl is a sweetie! I just love her smile! You've got an awesome blog here. I gotcha bookmarked into my favorites. Thanks for swinging by my post at MW. I'm always happy to meet other writers! :) Happy writing!!

    The Lovestruck Novice

  9. Gorgeous smile on your daughter's face. :)

    You write very well!

  10. Definitely can relate to that. Nice blog, btw. Didn't think I'd have kids due to medical issues. I have a benign tumor on my pituitary and was told I wouldn't be able to get pregnant. I guess I showed them. I've got 2 miracle babies. When my oldest, was born he used to cry a lot. My husband, would just hold him and walk around the house with him, smiling. He would say he was just so grateful he had a child it didn't matter that he would cry nonstop. I can't believe he just finished his first year of middle school and is turning 12 in two weeks. My only advice - continue to take tons of pictures.

  11. Thank you so much for you kind words about my daughter and my blog. And for sharing your experiences!

  12. I read this post when you first wrote it. It touches me on a lot of levels. You're going through a wonderful time and I am a little jealous, but each new stage brings it's own magic. She's just beautiful. Enjoy!

  13. Stop by, I have something for you!

  14. Yes, they do grow up very, very fast! Enjoy the ride, girlfriend.

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