This month marks the return of the dreaded ear infections plus the appearance of a strange new virus that caused you to fever for 48 hours straight and throw up any time you tried to eat. When people say there’s nothing worse than a sick baby, they aren’t kidding. I imagine there’s nothing in this world that can make a mother feel as inadequate, as helpless, as knowing her child is in pain and not being able to do anything about it. There were two nights that were especially rough for you, when all I could do was hold you in my arms, rocking you and stroking your sweaty forehead as you whimpered for hours. I have to be honest, I hated those nights. They were sad and scary and frustrating, and it pains me to know that I can’t prevent things like this from happening to you; that there will be many more sleepless nights like these in the future.
But there have been a lot of fun things this month as well, like when we took you swimming for the first time. To say that you liked it would be a gross understatement. Besides the fact that you got to play in water–something you’ve loved from day one–you were completely surrounded by other kids playing and splashing, and you simply LOVED it! For just a second, as I first set you in the water I thought you might try to jump out of your floatie and join them, but you were content to sit back and observe their play, floating around completely relaxed, your half-painted pink piggies dangling in the water… the very essence of chill.
You took your time learning to crawl, but once you had that out of the way, you didn’t waste a moment in figuring out how to maneuver yourself around the furniture. You could spend hours going in circles around and around the coffee table. Just the other day, you let go and took a single brave step from one piece of furniture to the next. Now let me tell you, I’m definitely NOT one of those moms who wants her baby to stay a baby forever. I didn’t cry when you grew out of newborn diapers, and the first time I saw you sitting up all by yourself, I felt nothing but excitement. Up to this point I have enjoyed each phase of your life and I’ve looked forward to all of your accomplishments with a smile, but watching you take that step brought tears to my eyes. Each day I see a change in you. You are becoming your own, independent person and as much as it thrills me — makes my heart sing, even — it also makes me realize that you are growing so fast! And although I want you to always do things at your own pace, in your own time, a little part of me can’t help but think not so fast, baby girl. Slow down. Stay exactly the way you are for just one more day. Please.