Yesterday, it hit me again. Julie had asked me for a picture of Mason from exactly a year ago. As I searched through the hundreds and hundreds of pictures we have, I was once again blindsided by the fact that our Son is growing up. He’s no longer a baby, and that’s just too hard to accept. I thought I had come to grips with it, but apparently I haven’t.
As I watched him transition from a newborn to an infant, and now from an infant to a toddler, I could also see his independence starting to show through. As much as he is still attached to our hips, he is doing a lot on his own. And he protests if you try to help.
I have a hard time letting go of the way things used to be. Because of how severe his reflux was (on top of colic and milk and soy allergies, which we were unaware of at the time), I used to sit almost upright in bed at night with him on my chest or his boppy pillow, because he couldn’t lay flat. It was the only way he could comfortably get a little bit of sleep, even if we didn’t. During the day he would have to nap on us as well because we never knew when he was going to projectile vomit (if projectile vomiting were an Olympic sport, he would have taken home the gold. At the very least, he could have been in the Guinness Book of World Records for volume and distance). And looking back, I guess getting a bath in formula wasn’t so bad, and those long nights weren’t so long after all.
It’s not hard (in terms of effort) for me to think back to last year and remember him as little as he was, and I hope that I will never forget those days, because, as hard as things were, they were some of the best days of my life. I know I have a lot to look forward to, but time is cruel and unfair. Fifteen months may not be a long time, but with the way things were when he was a baby, it felt like those days would never pass.
Now, sometimes I find myself wishing they hadn’t, because I’d give anything to go back and clean up one more projectile puke, to hold him on my chest for one more night, and let him nap on me for one more day.