They grow up too fast

“They grow up so fast, make sure you enjoy every moment.”

I must have heard this statement in a hundred variations, countless times. I just did the smile and nod thing, not really understanding.

But then I had a baby girl. And what felt like a couple weeks later, we were celebrating her first birthday. I looked at my husband and asked, “Seriously? How do we have a one-year-old?”

I could still remember all the details of my labor and delivery; tears still welled in my eyes when I thought about the first time she was placed on my chest. Oh sure, there were those sleepless nights when I wished time would go by faster, those difficult days that I just wanted to be over.

But this week a moms group that I’m a part of resumed for the fall semester. It was lovely to catch up with friends, while our kids ran around reacquainting themselves with the trove of toys. A few times I had to hunt for my daughter, and there she was – in the thick of the play, checking out the toy kitchen’s cupboards or climbing onto a rocking horse.

And I remembered last year at this time. She was only months old; I spent most of the playdate nursing her or guarding her carefully while she lay on her tummy observing the activity. She could barely roll over, instead watching the play from my lap.

Time really does move quickly. How is it possible for a little person to change so much in a single year?

From inert on the floor to crawling around so fast I can’t keep track of her. From rolling over to climbing up and down on chairs. From baby gurgles to loud chatter.

I’m doing my best to enjoy every moment, as every mother who has gone before me has wisely advised. It’s not always easy, but after this first year of parenting I’m oh-so-aware of how fast this time does fly.

Over the last couple of weeks, the majority of my mom friends have posted photos on social media of their kids’ first days of another school year. Some admitted to denial, tears, disbelief, heartache.

I snuggled my girl a little closer those days, knowing her turn will be here before we know it.

Cheryl Hazelton
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