"Lost time is never found again."
- Benjamin Franklin
It seems to me that a mother's greatest joy is also simultaneously met with heartache as they watch their baby grow. It happens so fast. I am now convinced that time is not a fixed measurement because there is no way that my baby is over eight months old. But alas, it's true.
I feel like I'm struggling with some of the latest transitions more than previously. The milestones we're seeing lately seem so...momentous. And there's a lot of change in the air. And sometimes I just long to freeze a moment - like in a Kung Foo movie - and just take a step back and look at it from every possible angle and enjoy it to the utmost capacity that my heart will allow. Because, damn it, it all goes by so fast. It's all so wonderfully bitter sweet.
Here's what's going on.
After a lot of thinking, some number crunching, and a lot of hand-wringing (and heartache) we've decided to enroll Abbey in daycare. As I've mentioned before, we love our nanny, so this has nothing to do with her, or her performance. We wish that we could keep her on. But with my new job gearing up into overtime, it's become quite clear that multi-tasking and trying to be a super Mom and stellar employee and meet all the demands on both sides, well, just not realistic. I need full-time support in the form of childcare, and financially, the nanny arrangement just doesn't make sense for us anymore. Luckily, we found a great daycare just a few blocks away from my workplace, and snagged Abbey a slot beginning next week. NEXT WEEK! I have a lot of experience firing people. It's never something that anyone enjoys doing. But this was by far one of the hardest conversations I've ever had to have. Letting our nanny go - ugh. So hard. She's like a part of our family. And though we'll continue to use her as a babysitter, I know that things won't be the same. Time marches on. And so must we.
The next transition is boob related. Please feel free to skip this part if that weirds you out. No offense taken.
Abbey's starting to ween. [Insert sobs here.] Good golly I was NOT prepared for how emotional this would be. Okay, so part of it is her weening and eating more solid foods, and part of it is me not being able to find time to pump at work, not really WANTING to pump at work anymore (let's be honest, who does?!?) and thus, my plentiful supply is shrinking. I wax and wane between being happy over a little bit of new-found independence and reclaiming my body a bit, and overwhelming sadness and guilt. Because I've come this far - I wish I could make it all the way to a year. And I so cherish that bond that we've created. And there's something freaking amazing about being able to create - with your own body - the most important nutrients that your child needs. What I've come to believe is that breastfeeding is truly a selfless act of love. I am so glad that I was able to nurse Abbey exclusively for six months, and that I continue to nurse her as my supply allows. At this point, I'm hoping I can continue a 50/50 combo of nursing and formula to her first birthday. I also have to admit, it's kind of nice to not schlep Mr. Thirsty, the breastpump, to work every day. It's nice to not have to quietly excuse myself or block off time in my calendar to take a pump break. It's nice to have a little bit of that time back. But I'll tell you, I think about what that last time will be like - the last time I nurse my first-born child. Oh, dear. That's just a tough one. I can't even get my head around it yet. Oy. But time keeps trudging forward at a steady clip. And so must I. And my boobs.
Finally, I have to say that all of the changes - physically and developmentally - in Abbey are incredible. Today, for the first time, she started waving to us. She's starting to catch on to some baby sign language. She understands. She observes. She absorbs. She's a person. Like a real individual, with her very own personality. She is goofy as hell. I think she has both my sense of humor and Scott's to the third power. The kid is funny. And adorable. And I swear, every morning when I pick her up from her crib, it feels like she's grown. I feel it in my arms. In my soul. Recently, I looked back at some of those early photos of Abbey and it's just so incredible how much change happens in such a short amount of time. So many people told me to "enjoy every second of it." It sounds like such a cliche when someone says that, right? I wish I had paid more attention. They were so right. Time flies.
As we roll into the final months of Abbey's first year of life, I am just so proud of our little family - of our little girl. My life has been enriched in a way that I never thought possible. While there are definitely moments when I wish I could freeze time and just live in this place for a while longer, I also can't quite contain the excitement I feel for the new changes and discoveries and growth. In Abbey. In me. In my marriage. In my family. As for time? Yes, it marches on. It flies by. It's like sands through the hourglass. But time is my friend and not a foe, I do realize. On this concept, I'm reminded of a favorite quote from my 10th grade American Lit class, "This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with." (Ralph Waldo Emerson).
Use your time well. Enjoy every second of it.