Becoming the Ones Who Annoyed You

My girl is growing up.

I never thought I would be one of “those” moms who goes around telling everyone, “it goes so quickly! Enjoy those moments!” 

Because, in the early months of our first baby, I was exhausted. I was frustrated. I was yearning for her independence. 

Don’t get me wrong, I obviously loved so many things about my girl and about motherhood, in general. But, overall, I was feeling trapped under the weight of responsibility to a six-pound baby.

How can something so light be so heavy?

So I spent the first several months of her life essentially waiting for her to grow up. I wanted space, and I wanted the “fun” parts of being a mom–not the constant nursing, and the constant holding, and the constant soothing. 

And now my girl is getting bigger and bigger.

Not physically, mind you–she’s still a petite thing–but emotionally, mentally, socially.

She wants her “big girl cup” and (plastic) knife with dinner. 

She wants to carry mommy’s purse around. 

She wants to wear mommy’s shoes–particularly the heels (we’re in for trouble). 

She wants to climb on her own. 

She wants to run and run and run, without looking back to see if mama and daddy are following.

She wants, more and more, to “play with friends;” to read to herself; to build her own sculptures with blocks.

She washes her own hands, and brushes her own teeth, and names shapes and colors and letters and animals and concepts I’d expect to be too abstract for her.

She doesn’t want my help with so many things she used to depend on me for. And it stings a bit, even as I admire the little person she’s becoming.

And it’s hard to step back and let her explore, even though it’s what I’ve always been waiting for. I love watching her learn, but I’m afraid of what it means.

Like every parent out there, I’m afraid for the day she doesn’t need me.

So, like every parent out there, I say to all new parents and soon-to-be parents, and eventually-will-be parents–enjoy those first   moments. Even if you don’t actually enjoy them yet. 

Store them in your memory as fond memories, even as you roll your eyes and sigh. Because they will be fond memories, eventually. 

And then you’ll need to have another, just to recapture those moments. 

And those moments will go far too quickly for you to even notice! Suddenly, your tiny, second baby will be sitting up and trying to crawl and trying to walk, and you won’t know how it happened!

It’s easy to take time for granted–to think moments will last forever. But even the hard ones don’t. 

And, someday, you’ll wish you could relive them.

And you’ll be like every other parent out there that annoyed you by telling you to enjoy it.

Excuse me while I whine about my kid growing up.