Today you are 8 months old. This past month you have grown and changed in so many ways, I can hardly keep up. I try to slow down whenever I can to soak in who you are at this age. Last night after I fed you, I held you in my arms as I always do and watched you drift to sleep. This time, however, I held you a little longer than normal before putting you in your crib. I didn’t rush out of your room, eager to eat dinner or relax on the couch. Instead I stared at your little face, memorizing every detail. Your long eyelashes, your full cheeks, your mouth slightly open, your tiny chin. I’ve taken thousands of pictures of that face, but I want to remember this moment. I want to remember how you feel in my arms as a baby. I want to cherish this time.
This month, it seemed like you were changing every day. One day you didn’t like solid foods. The next day you couldn’t get enough of them. One day you were sleeping swaddled. The next day you weren’t. One day you didn’t like “tummy time”. The next day you were pushing up on your hands and knees, getting ready to crawl. Perhaps my favorite thing you did this month was figuring out how to play games. As I was feeding you in your high chair, you tilted your head to the side and I copied you. You thought it was the funniest thing, so you had to do it a gazillion more times. Now you do it every time you’re in your high chair. You’re a funny girl!
Now, at 8 months old, I can’t believe that we’re creeping closer to the one-year mark. I can see now how quickly eighteen years will go. Earlier this week, I turned to your dad and said, “So wait…we have to raise Sadie so that she will leave us?”
And in that moment, it hit me. My tender heart ached a little. I felt what it means to be a parent. I felt a connection to my own parents. How strange it must be for them to see their little girl with a husband and baby – a new family. This is what we want for our children. We want them to be independent and happy and loved. Yet, it is bittersweet. We can’t freeze time. We can’t stay in the nursery, rocking you to sleep forever. You are going to grow and thrive and leave. That’s what we want for you. I just hope you’ll come back home once in a while and give your ol’ mom and dad a hug.
Happy birthday, sweet girl. I can’t wait to see what you do next!