There was a blog post circulating around on one of my mom's groups recently. The post was about how we celebrate our children's milestones, yet we don't often make a big deal when something comes to an end. The post really made me think. I mean, one of my biggest lessons in parenting, in my whole 10 months at it, is that nothing ever lasts. The first time I realized this was with sleep. When Little Pea was not sleeping through the night at four-and-a-half months, I resigned myself to the fact that Ryan just wasn't going to be a baby who slept through the night. One night, he did sleep through the night, and everything changed. We celebrated that first night he slept through the night, but I did not stop to think about the fact that sleeping through the night meant an end to those late night cuddles, no more baby falling asleep on my chest.
Its been like this for the past 10 months. You celebrate the first, but the last slips through your memory. Somewhere along the way, you stop and ponder the loss of something, but you can't put your finger on when. I know that Ryan stopped making his "goat sound," and I know that he stopped holding his hands in those tight little fists, but can't say when. All I know is after a few weeks, you stop and think to yourself, or say it out loud, "do you remember when he used to do whatever, well, I haven't noticed that in a while."
The first few years are a time of incredible change, and it happens so fast, that you lose the lasts in a blur. So many have passed me by, and so many are going to pass me by really soon. The blog post made me realize that I really need to notice the small things right now. I should stop focusing on the future, and put myself more in the here and now. These days are so precious, and so fleeting, I'll never have them back.
Keeping this in my mind, I realized today when I opened the freezer to take out Ryan's food that I stopped making baby food two weeks ago.
Of course, I'll continue cooking for Ryan, but those nights of staying up till 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning steaming and pureeing are gone. Ryan is transitioning over, and my days of my homemade baby food are numbered. With this transition, comes the end of our lovely times at the high chair with me lovingly singing songs and making crazy faces to get one more bite into Ryan. Soon, he'll be doing it on his own. It will be one more beginning, and one more end.
I'm hoping to keep that blog post in my mind. I hope I can slow down, like I did today, and realize that I need to recognize and celebrate each beginning in Ryan's life, but also to honor the phase that comes to an end.