Friday, September 10, 2010

Give and Take

Today is Alex's 6 month birthday. It's been an interesting journey on the other side of "you don't really get it 'til you've been there." Well, I'm here. It's amazing the little things that you notice suddenly when you have a baby. There's an entire microcosm that only a parent understands. These little bits that come and go in the blink of an eye.

Because of all the parents that have told me that the first year goes remarkably quick, I've truly tried not to take anything for granted. I make a very conscious effort not to wish a moment away just because it is difficult. That in and of itself is a difficult thing. Your mind cannot help but go straight to "when we get past 'this' phase or 'that' one" when you hit the difficult spots in the road. To those readers who are not parents and don't understand the heart wrenching work of parenting, this will be a very abstract statement. To those who have been there, or are going through it as I write, you will nod your head with the knowledge that it's so so easy to wish away the rough spots. But you always have to remember that with every bad moment you wish would rush past, there is a beautiful simple one that goes with it.

Dennis and I recently realized that it was time for Alex to go from his bassinet to his crib. It was incredibly bittersweet for this step to take place. On the one hand, I needed to sleep better. With Alex in his bassinet next to the bed, I would wake up with every little movement. But on the other hand, this was a milestone that was kind of hard to swallow. My baby was going to sleep in his own room. He didn't need me to be right next to him at all times. It was a subtle reminder that time does in fact speed by.

As of a week or so ago, he also learned to sit up by himself. He's becoming more independent by tiny (baby) steps. He'll be ready to crawl very very soon. Along with this is a fiercely pushy baby. Suddenly, there's a little ego-centric temper to deal with. If he doesn't want to be held a certain way, he arches his back so hard it's tough to keep him from flipping out of my arms. If he doesn't want to fall asleep, despite all the signs of a very tired baby, he'll grab any piece of skin on my body he can reach and dig his nails in. He pulls hair, slaps my arms, scratches and gnaws. He doesn't understand boundaries or "ouch!" He gets bored very very easily. Yet I would not wish any of this away. For every difficult trait, he has an endearing one, or is learning something completely invaluable. Not just sitting up or sleeping solo, he is starting to connect words with objects. He knows his name, he knows the kitties and Roscoe by word. He's starting to look at the toys he has when I call them by name. He giggles with absolute abandon at being tickled, surprised or when his daddy plays peek a boo over the back of the couch with him.

Soon he will be crawling away from me. He'll have teeth and opinions and even more personality than he does now. I look forward to all of these things, but I don't wish the future here any more than I want the past back. For every little thing you wish away, you give away something precious.

From the beginning to now:


  1. What a beautiful post, and oh, so true. Happy six months Alex!

  2. He really does look like a mini-dennis :)


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