Anyone who’s had a baby knows this natural law: Time will fly.
You prepared for 9 months to welcome this human. 9 whole months. And not once did you consider the week after you had him.
That a week will have passed and your newborn will no longer actually be newborn.
His little face will have changed already, he will have grown and developed and will be fast becoming ‘him’. Not part of you. Not in you, not attached to you, not feeding off your every blood vessel. His own little dude.
The days are long but the years are short – so true. Every individual day can feel like a decade, but then a year passes and it might as well have been a month.
I wasn’t a massive crier but I cried the night my eldest’s umbilical fell off, a whole two weeks after birth (and at 3am – husband was thrilled).
I guess it was the last remaining, moulding reminder that he had once been part of me. And there he was – detached. Like a ship sailing from harbour, off he goes.
Everyone you meet when you have a baby says it: “time flies”, “blink and you miss it”, “cherish every moment”, all hanging with the heavy insinuation that at each stage of your child’s development there comes the heavy loss of the last stage gone.
That part of your baby is gone. Lost. If you can’t expand your memory to document every giddy minute and hour of the first year then tough luck – it’s lost in time, never to be re-lived. Makes you want to cry, right?
Then last summer we were spending an afternoon on the beach with the eldest and a cheery woman stopped to ask us how old he was.
“6 months” I replied, bracing myself for the certain advice which would follow to “make every moment count”.
But she said something extraordinary – something I will literally never forget for as long as I live and am a mother. She said “mine are 6 and 8. It just gets better and better.”
And there it was.
Proof at last that night was not just a day lost, but a new day beginning.
Confirmation that the growing of our kids was not just addled with heartache for the babies they once were but filled with just as much wonder and joy for the people they were becoming.
And it’s funny because I think of that lady all the time. She has long forgotten us, enjoying her now 7 and 9 year olds, but she made such a difference to me, the mother of a 6 month old who just needed to know there was *so* much more to look forward to.
And, boy, was she right.