Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The milestones are bittersweet

Once upon a time we had this baby who barely opened her eyes for more than a few minutes. And then, all of a sudden, she started staying awke. Then came cooing and smiling and giggling. There was also the rolling and sitting. Currently we’re waiting (with some degree of dread) for unintentional scoots to become full blown crawling.

When The Girl reaches each of these milestones we can’t help but feel some sadness as we reel from Time rushing by. The baby we brought home yesterday is practically a teenager today. Or so it seems. With each milestone comes some more independence and with it, a reminder that she’ll one day be gone .

And, for the most part, that’s okay.

Really. It is. I’m okay with the thought. I’m okay even with the reality of it all. I just wish sometimes it didn’t happen so fast. Or that I could rewind every so often just to remember. So while I cheer and clap over every little development (i.e. “did you see that Kenny?! She picked it up with her fingers intead of her whole fist! Etc.) I always endure melancholy moment with each new accomplishment and skill.

Today, amidst her normal all-vowel babbling, The Girl said “mama.” It was awesome. For a long time I've gleefully watched her intently (but silently) move her mouth in imitation of my own as I've said that very word to her. Over and over again. Her finally saying it came with less sadness as other milestones. I think it’s because this one doesn’t remind me of her leaving someday (the way rolling and crawling does – not to even speak of walking, because when I think about her walking I can’t help be think of here driving, and suddenly I’m handing her the car keys and then she’s away at college and finally married with kids of her own – AHHHH!) . No, her learning to communicate is exhilarating. It will enable our relationship to grow closer. Even when she’s gone we can chat. And the fact that her first deliberate consonant-vowel combo was mama just melts. my. heart. Of all the things she could have said, she said Mama. Thank you Universe for that. Even when she’s gone, I’ll still be Mama.

(And yes, I know that she doesn’t get the meaning of the sounds she’s making. I know. I even know that someday I may occasionally long for the silence of those pre-verbal days. But I don’t care. She said mama. I love it.)

6 comments:

.From Her. said...

YES!! So awesome.

J said Dada first. And for a loooooong time. I couldn't get him to say mama for the life of me.

Broke my heart.

Hugh, however, redeemed my mother heart, and refused to call Chris anything but mom.

Elise said...

WOW! How exciting! She really is growing up so fast. Missing those baby moments is what allows you to want another baby.

Desiree and Lars said...

This is so beautifully written. Aliyah's first word was Mama too! I agree with your feelings!

Amy said...

What a sweet day and a very sweet post! Axel said mama first too, but now calls/yells at me AMY! (You can thank the kids I babysit for that)

Melissa said...

It's kind of ironic that I read this today because Jason and I had a similar conversation about this very thing last night when Evie started pulling at the toys above her on her play mat.

Robin said...

Oh Jill. I LOVE when people turn into moms! Best thing someone can be:)