Wednesday, May 29, 2019

2y4m : Looking backwards

Time continues to fly past. I go to work, I care for MJ, months and seasons change.  My little baby is not anything like a baby. She talks and runs. It's such a joy to watch her grow and stretch and learn about herself and the world. The baby days really are fleeting. It's hard for me to remember her as a baby really- what she felt like and how the minutia of our days were.  I know people tell you to treasure it because it will be gone fast. The thing is, I did treasure it, but memory is a funny thing. I know I treasured it, but I can't call it to mind in a clear way like living it.

One of the last things I'll say about (not) having another kid is that I realize that I don't want a different baby to cuddle and care for- I want the time back with MY baby. It was over too fast! I want to go back to those moments! That's what I miss and long for.  A new baby would be something entirely different. Then I'd have two children I felt a longing for their younger days with.  I see though that what I want is those moments frozen in time, or able to be recalled at will. Not to replace them with some other baby.  And knowing that's impossible, also helps me feel at peace and confident in my decision to have one child.

And back to speaking of that one child, I am treasuring every moment of our now as well. Every cuddle and giggle, as well as every tantrum. Every day she changes and learns and grows and does something new or different and it is such a privilege to be a part of.

Which isn't to say it isn't tough in equal measure. I rarely think about being a solo mom because it's my only reality. I firmly believe that many aspects of our life are a lot easier because I'm not simultaneously negotiating with another parent.  But some things are harder- not getting a break being a big one. I work full time and it's great for us. First, because it pays the bills and affords us our lifestyle.  Second, because MJ gets socialized with other kids and adults which I think is important for her development. Second part two, because MJ gets amazing exposure to all sorts of learning and activities at the nursery which also helps her development. And third, because I get a break when I'm at work!  Seriously. Work is my down time!  We recently went on a holiday to France for a week where we met up with a friend of mine who flew in from NY and so it was 9 days of full on time and even with another adult there it was tough!  I loved it, we had a great time, and I was thrilled to come back home, have MJ at nursery and go to work.

But I tell myself, it's particularly tough now, when she's this age. Not potty trained, haphazardly skipping naps that she still desperately needs. Needing a stroller.  Slowly but surely all of these things will finish and she will be a more capable travel partner and housemate.  And I'm sure at that point I'll be thinking longingly of these moments, that I can't quite remember clearly- be so much in love with my bigger girl, but missing the toddler she was, just like a miss the baby now. 

A peril of parenting- all this retrospection while holding on to so much hope and promise for the future. It's a funny little paradox.