02/ 04/ 2019

Five Months, Six Days

After her bath on Friday, I watched Millie as she kicked and cooed on the changing table. She kept looking at me and smiling. I counted her thigh rolls and tickled her belly as I slathered her in baby lotion. Before I did the last button on her onesie, I realized something. On the 26th of this month, she’ll be six months old. She was only a few weeks away from being halfway through her first year.

It hit me like a brick. Like a big weight on my chest. It hit me so hard because I know the next six months goes by so much faster than the first six months and the first six already go by so fast.

When Millie was born, Cory’s mom bought her an adorable pair of gray footie pajamas with cream bumble bees. I held it up in shock that a 3-6 month size was so big. “Oh lands, she’s never going to fit into this!” The first time I went to put it on her I was sure she would be swimming in it – she wasn’t. It fit like a custom piece and broke my heart.

A few weeks ago Cory picked Jude up and held her like a baby. He cradled her head in the crook of his arm and swayed her back and forth. Her legs stretched out long and straight and I looked down as I cradled Millie in my arms and started to cry. It wasn’t long ago that Jude was the baby in my arms and it won’t be long before Millie is the kid in Cory’s.

I’m so grateful for the chances I have had to carry these babies in my heart, in my body and in my arms. I love watching them grow and develop personalities and quirks. I love raising them and teaching them and helping them become good people. I love everything about motherhood. I just wish it didn’t have to fly by so quickly. They’re only this little for a fraction of time. It’s like I blinked and went from a newlywed to a mother of four overnight. I’m too scared to blink again because I know another five years will have gone by and we’ll be on the brink of braces and puberty and angst.

So I’m trying to slow down and soak it all in. I hold Millie a little longer after she’s fallen asleep. I study her face and memorize her breathing. I listen and look at my kids when they talk. I don’t want to forget the way their faces light up when they tell a story. Or the way they hold their hands when emphasizing a point. I watch them while they eat breakfast and notice how they sit: flat on their bottom, perched on their knees, or atop crossed ankles. I can’t make time stop. I can’t force it to slow down, and as much as I wish I could, I know I wouldn’t. It’s good for them to grow. It’s good for me to grow. So instead of freezing time and mourning the past, I’m going to do everything I can in my power to enjoy the present. To commit these days and these moments to memory, to write them in my heart and etch them in my mind.

These are the days, covered in mashed potato kisses and formula burps.
These are our days.

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