When my first son was born almost 13 years ago, I was a complete basket case. I was totally unprepared for the punch-in-the-face-like shock of motherhood and literally spent the first 48 hours with my finger stuck under his nose making sure he was still breathing (I also faithfully tracked every single one of his pees and poops in a journal for 3 months and had him sleep on a heart rate monitor for almost a year…..you get the point.)
When my daughter was born 2 years later, I was a much calmer and more confident mom but I was also busy with a toddler and in the middle of a home renovation and frankly just so darn frazzled that I’m afraid I forgot to savour most of her baby years. I do however remember that she was a beautiful and happy bundle of joy -unless I dared to put her down and then she turned into a screaming she-devil!
And then 4 years ago…just a month before I turned 39….I had my last baby – a boy. Almost 9 years younger than his brother and 6 years younger than his sister, he came into the world a whopping 6 pounds and as serene and content a little babe as I’d ever encountered. I made a promise to him and to myself in that hospital that I would stay present and focused and not let the hustle and bustle of everyday life sweep away his infancy and toddlerhood and childhood in the blink of an eye. I was going to cherish the moments goddamit because I only had to look into the eyes of my 2 older children to get a reminder of how fast time flies by.
But here’s the thing – no matter how much I vowed to relish every milestone, somehow they still whirred past. The downy softness of his newborn hair, the weight of him on my shoulder as he fell asleep snuggled in a tight ball, his first gummy smiles and sweet gurgly laughs, watching his sister gently give him his first bath, his brother’s peels of laughter when he fed him his first taste of apple sauce, watching my husband bundle him up in the stroller and set off around the neighbourhood for yet another attempt at getting him to sleep……he just kept changing and growing and there wasn’t a darn thing I could do about it.
I held on to the moments and at the same time watched them slip through my fingers as he grew – crawling across the floor and then taking his first tottering drunken steps around the living room. And I had to constantly keep reminding myself to focus on the present and to not waste my time mourning the past or worrying about the future.
So here we are 4 years later. The serene little baby has blossomed into a feisty and funny and wild and tender and unique little boy who has completely stolen all of our hearts. He’s a lover of swords and hockey and scooters and climbing trees. He’ll be the first in line for a good game of mini sticks with his favourite cousin, he’ll hang with a group of 12-year-old boys like he’s part of the gang and (sadly) he’s not averse to dropping the occasional swear word. He loves to snuggle in bed reading stories, he insists on twirling my hair in his fingers when he’s tired and he often sneaks into my bed at night to wedge himself between my husband and I.
My little K – he’s my last baby and he’s turning 4. Just like that. In the blink of an eye.