Posted on | July 12, 2013 | 5 Comments

People tell you babies grow fast and that you’ll blink your eyes and they’ll be grown.

But when you’re pacing the floor for the seventh sleepless night in a row with a screaming baby latched onto your breast, you find it so hard to believe. Time moves so slowly then, counted in the seconds it takes to reach the minutes it takes to reach the hours until he sleeps. Finally.  Time is measured in moments… in the slowest tick of a clock when the house is quiet and you breathe in the silence and think, for the first time, “Maybe I can handle this.”

When I would hear those do-gooders tell me that it all goes by so quickly, I would stare at them, blank faced, and wonder if I was doing it all wrong or maybe all right, because I was sure that I felt every second of my child’s life.  Every. Agonizing. Glorious. Second.  And on the day, eight seemingly long weeks after his birthday, when I snapped the infant seat down into the car seat base of my car and drove ever so slowly to his first day of daycare and my first day back at work, I couldn’t tell you if I was relieved or devastated.  He was eight weeks old.  He was my baby.  My fingers shook when I entered the code to walk into the facility, one arm swinging the car seat and the other slowly opening the door to this new world.

The drive stayed the same, I stayed the same, my baby changed.  Pretty soon, I stopped knowing how many weeks old he was and time became measured in months… he’s three months, he’s eight months, and then, inexplicably, he was one.  And when we returned to Macon after the divorce, he was almost two and he would beg me to lift him high in the air so he could reach the numbers to punch in the code to his “school.”  The daycare stayed the same.  My baby changed.

This morning, I drove the long and winding road to the downtown daycare that has been my child’s home away from home for the better part of his almost four years of life.  I watched him clamber out of the car, pulling his rolling suitcase behind him.  He swung open the gate by himself then had me walk through first announcing “After you, my dear!” in the lilting, playful voice that is such music to my ears.  He walked, straight and tall, into his classroom and put his suitcase up on top of the cubbies with no help from me at all.

It is his last day at the daycare that nursed me through nursing, that cradled him through his cradle years, that cheered when he crawled and then walked and then talked.  It is his last day.

I gave him a hug and a kiss on the forehead and then turned to leave. I made it almost all the way to the door before he called out another goodbye and I turned to wave again to my baby who inexplicably became a person.  For a moment, he was small… his bald head covered with a soft knit cap, his blue eyes round and big against his face.  For a moment, I saw him there, lying on his back in the little white crib, feet kicking and cooing with the grunts and sighs of infant-hood.  For a moment, I remembered how it all began… just four years ago or maybe just yesterday.  For a moment, I couldn’t remember when.

I waved frantically to my child, blowing kisses he returned, and then slipped out the door and into my car.

For a moment, I remembered, through tear-clouded eyes, that the world is spinning faster every day and with each turn he gets taller and broader.  With each step he moves away from the safety of my arms and into the big, bad world where anything can happen.

I sat in the parking lot for a few minutes,  collecting myself before I drove to work and to my office that is littered with photographs of the baby who is growing so fast.  I remember those endless nights when it all seemed so long, so tiring, so infinite.  I remember wondering why anyone would ever say it goes by so very fast.  But this morning, when my eight week old infant son walked two steps ahead of me into his last day of daycare, the truth wrapped around my heart like tender memories of the arms of a newborn and I realized that it all goes by so fast.

It has all gone by so fast.



5 Responses to “”

  1. Julia
    July 12th, 2013 @ 9:46 am

    People tell you this. They do.
    And then, surprisingly, it happens.
    All too fast.

  2. Law Momma
    July 12th, 2013 @ 9:48 am

    It’s so wonderful and so difficult to see them grow up.

  3. Carrie
    July 12th, 2013 @ 11:53 am

    Dammit! Your posts always make me cry like a baby! Very well written. I couldn’t agree more and my heart aches just thinking about having to do this with my little girl in a few years. And by the way, I always hated it when people told me it goes by so fast too.

  4. Law Momma
    July 12th, 2013 @ 1:02 pm

    I cried, too. SIGH.

  5. Chris
    July 14th, 2013 @ 8:19 pm

    Hi there, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog
    is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now
    following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you
    would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs,

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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