There are days that I catch myself thinking or even saying out loud: “I can’t wait until DJ can really play with his toys,” or “I’m so excited to be able to take him swimming or to the park.” And then I have to remind myself to slow down and enjoy him as he is today. Because today he smiles when he sees himself in the mirror, and coos and gurgles at me after he finishes a bottle. Today he stares with such intensity when you hold a rattle in front of his face, and his hands move very slowly towards it as though he is willing them to stop flailing around and get down to business. Today he gives us sleepy smiles in the dead of the night as though to say “sorry I’m keeping you up.”
Yesterday he introduced a new cry that sounds just a little less like a baby and more like a young boy. Yesterday he smiled the widest I’ve ever seen when I sang along to the Nashville soundtrack while he wrapped his entire fists around my thumbs and danced. Yesterday he was one day younger than he is today.
I need to slow down and enjoy him as a newborn. Enjoy the lack of sleep, the seemingly endless cups of coffee that it takes to get through many days. I need to enjoy him allowing us to cuddle with him in our bed for a few extra minutes in the morning. I need to allow myself to drown in how it feels to be wholly needed, to be in charge of someone’s life so completely. I need to stop wishing time away so that he can ‘do more,’ because one day he will be running around getting into mischief. One day he will be pulling my hair or pushing away from me when I try to snuggle with him. One day (soon) he won’t be my baby anymore. One day soon he will need me just a little less.
So I dare myself to slow down. I dare myself to enjoy every day, no matter how difficult it is. I dare myself to stop looking so far ahead and just enjoy the boy that DJ is today, at this moment, because just like that, the moment will be over, left as just a memory swimming around in my crowded head.