I Won’t Blink

It is midnight, which means it is officially my oldest son’s 4th birthday and the anniversary of the day that I became a mom. To be honest, I am struggling.

All of my mom friends warned me about how fast it goes, my own mother never let a conversation go by without reminding me how quickly children grow up, even strangers at the grocery store would point at my growing belly and say, “Don’t blink!” But somehow, I didn’t think it was going to happen to me. My baby wasn’t even born yet, but I would cherish every single moment, time would go slowly and nothing would get past me; I would not blink.

Then, exactly 4 years ago today at 8:14am, I became a Mom. That little boy stole my heart right from my chest, he was the sweetest thing I had ever laid eyes on and I was captivated. I did not want to take my eyes off of him. After a few days, we went home and settled into the new normal. All I wanted was to sleep through the night, I was a new kind of exhausted and I wished someone else could feed him and rock him so I could go back to sleep. Then he became a toddler who I had to watch like a hawk, I was constantly wishing that I could relax behind a closed door, or even take a hot shower by myself. When he got bigger, I could not wait until he was out of diapers and able to do a few things for himself. 

Now, he is 4.

He no longer keeps me up all night, he doesn’t pull on my jewelry or grab at my hair, he doesn't take a bottle or eat baby food, I don't have to worry about him trying to play in the dog’s water dish or eating pennies, and he does all his business in the toilet without even asking for my help. He is getting more independent by the minute and needing me less and less. He is not a baby anymore, not even a toddler; he is a little person.

I didn’t just blink, I wished it away.

Somehow, while I was busy complaining about dirty diapers and never getting sleep or a shower, I didn’t notice that my baby was getting bigger. I feel like I missed it all. I see the pictures that I took and obsessively (possibly annoyingly) posted on Facebook, the milestones that I wrote about, the tiny clothes he used to fit into that are now gathering dust in a closet, but I still don’t understand it. I still can’t believe how much time has passed, how is he not a baby anymore? Everything happened so fast that I can barely remember it all, it is just one big blur of a whirlwind. I feel as if I closed my eyes for one tiny second and when I opened them, I was planning my son's 4th birthday party.

I will never get that time back, he will never be a baby or a toddler again.

I will no longer naively act like I will have my kids forever, that somehow I will defy time and they will never grow up. Instead, I will live knowing that the good and bad parts in each moment are fleeting. No matter what I do, time will keep moving just like it always does, like it always has. I won’t let any more time pass before I realize what I have been missing. I won't close my eyes and wake up to find myself planning his graduation party.

From now on, I mean it; I won’t blink.


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