Monday, February 3, 2014
This morning your dad got up with you (he is a good man, your dad), and he decided to dress you for the day. He pulled out a short sleeved onesie that fits just right and a pair of newborn sized bottoms that fit you like vintage football pants. He pulled them out of a pile of newborn clothes that you have already outgrown. It is hard for me to believe that I am already having to pack away things because they are too small for you, and yet I am.
We had lunch at Cracker Barrel last week, and an older lady at the next table stopped by on her way out to give you the once over. She commented on your cuteness, your smallness, reminisced about her 52-year-old "baby", and then she said the thing that I have heard more in the last six weeks than anything else.
It goes by so fast.
And it must. Because sometimes I wonder how I am 36 instead of 26. If it goes fast for me, who is not constantly hitting new milestones and learning new skills, it certainly will go fast with you.
I would slow it down if I could. I really would. I would rewind and make you 7 pounds again, tiny and sleepy and as active as a sack of potatoes. And I would spend my days sitting and staring at your sweetness just a little longer. And it would be years before you were crawling and walking. We would get there, but it would take a while. Because there isn't enough time to take it all in. There aren't enough pictures to capture how awesome you are in this moment. And sadly, there are other things that need to be done. Like laundry and dinner and on occasion, I would like to have the chance to take a shower. And those things get in the way of just admiring you.
But I can't slow down time. No amount of wishing will change the ticking clock. As your mom, I have to think about what's important as the inevitable days pass and your legs become too long to fit into my favorite sleepers. I have to decide where to invest my time and energy when it comes to you. These days are fleeting, and you will be a big kid before I know it.
So here it is. Here is the thing that will count your whole life long. And it's not adorable newborn pictures of you curled up in a tiny basket, although those would have been fun. It's not custom made baby outfits that cost more than any outfit in my closet.
The only thing I can give you that lasts is Jesus. And it may sound cliche or trite, but kiddo, this is the thing that will count when I am gone. This is the relationship that lasts when you are a grown-up with your own family. This is the thing that will change your life.
You are just a baby. You cannot understand the words I say just yet. You don't know the difference between Psalm 139 and The Gettysburg Address. But one day you will. And those things that I say to you now will eventually become recognizable and familiar to you later. The songs that I sing to you now will become a comfort to you when you are bigger. They will be woven into your memories of me as your mom, of family, of things that you love and hold close. And so I will invest in you the things that will last. I will sing to you sweet Sunday school songs that I sang as a child, even though they have mostly been abandoned in actual Sunday schools. I will softly quote to you my favorite verses, praying that they will change your life someday the way that they have changed mine. I will read to you stories about God and about people that loved Him. I will pray over you and tell you that Jesus loves you. He does... so, so much more than even I can. And for now, you will not understand. But I will be busy planting seeds of understanding in your little heart and mind. I pray that they will grow into faith that exceeds my own.
You are sleeping right now. You have managed to soothe yourself into a little nap, and I am thankful because I needed this moment to sit and reflect and write down the things I have been pondering. But your nap won't last long. You will soon be up and you will need to be fed and changed. I need to clean up the house a little and wash some tiny little clothes that won't fit you for long. There is a long list of things that will fill this day and then you will be one day older. Bigger. Smarter. I will try to be okay with it, this passing of time. I will celebrate, and maybe even mourn a little at the same time, each milestone. It will go by fast, little guy, but I will do my best to leave you with what really counts. That's my promise to you.