At nearly 20 months, she must know how to say a hundred words. Last night “barley” was new. She put the phrase “light on” almost together the other day. She knows loads of animals and the difference between a “spider” and a “bug”.
Today she put her own dirty diaper in the pail. We made guacamole together on the kitchen floor. We rolled play doh into balls and sorted leaves on the grass. A new mom at Chipotle commented on Bug’s good table manners and ability to eat flavorful food.
Aren’t these things remarkable?
Yes, I claim, they are. And so with all of these remarkable change, I’m trying to do my work and move through other parts of my life faster than ever to create time to see her in her 10 hours of daily awake time.
I realize that when she’s 20 years old, it will be no big deal that she knows names of bugs, can throw away trash and keep her food from landing on the floor. All of that will be taken for granted – forgotten will be a time when those things were major victories. Just like Daylight Savings time forces us to move ever forward into the next season, forgetting the long days of summer and trading them for the scent of wood-burning fires and holiday food to look forward to. Something else is always on the horizon.
I struggle with trying to relish the present and look forward to the future. Tonight, though, I feel I really succeeded in pressing pause with Bug.
I read her two books while she drank milk and we “snuggled” – our bedtime ritual. Then I asked for a hug. We sat in the recliner in her room, her on my lap hugging me, for about seven minutes. Have you sat still for seven minutes recently? It’s an indulgently-long time these days. I realized how it felt to wrap my arms around her little back and smell her freshly-washed hair, already in wisps of assorted directions. She was very still, and we sat there together, content in each other’s company. A human touch. I thought about how our souls will be connected forever, no matter if she moves far away or travels the world without me. For now, though, we have each other. Parent and child.