Thursday, December 14, 2006

Baby Steps

November 30th, Laurel takes her official first steps. One step, two steps, and then plop, lands onto her padded behind. She proudly looks up at her gleeful, applauding father, and begins clapping herself. Paul delightfully calls, "She took her first steps!"

Where was I? I missed it. Even when I was made aware of Laurel's newest accomplishment, I didn't go running to see. I kept doing whatever mundane chore had to be done and simply nodded. Where was my enthusiasm and support for my ten month old daughter? Paul had to repeat the exciting news to get me to verbally acknowledge this milestone in my daughter's life.

The last few weeks, I've been trying to come to terms with the fact that with each step Laurel takes, the baby disappears and the toddler emerges. Don't get me wrong, I love toddlers, it's just in my eyes, it's too soon for the baby to leave. I'm selfish. I want Laurel to be a baby for longer than she wants to. She's ready to run with Ian, while I'm ready to sit and cuddle.

How quickly the last ten months have flown by. I want need to hold her in my arms and look forever into her sweet, blue eyes. I need to feel her hand wrap around my finger. I need to feel and hear her breathe as I hold her close. I need to watch her shake her little derriere as she quickly crawls by, most certainly off to destroy whatever project Ian is working on. I need her to spin herself around while sitting, just like a little top. I need her to babble incessantly. I need her to coo. I need her to glide her wet fingers on my cheek and squeeze my nose. I need her play with my hair while she nurses. I need her to delight in the magic of bubbles. I need her to open and close books, over and over again, trying to figure out why the picture changes. I need her to crawl after me when I leave a room. I need her to coyly hide in my arms whenever she first sees her grandparents. I need snot bubbles blowing in and out with each breath (gross I know, but funny as all heck!). I need drooly wet, mouth-wide-open kisses.

Now I realize many of the things I've listed above continue, in fact into adulthood. But let's face it, babies do it differently, the way only a baby can. The look of innocence as Laurel blows raspberries with a mouth full of food, can only exist now. We try to preserve these moments with cameras, camcorders, and by writing them down. These efforts help, but I selfishly want to freeze time in a manner that allows me to enjoy my family just as they are today, but only for a much longer period of time.

I know, I know, come back to reality. I should delight in all the discoveries Ian and Laurel make on a daily basis, and believe me, I DO!!!! It's just, Laurel, could you please slow down a bit on growing up? I need time to catch up.


Kellie said...

The tears you brought to my eyes!! My (only) baby is 11 months old and all too often lately I find myself staring at her as I frantically try to remember the first days/weeks, even months when she was this tiny person. I am happy/proud as she crawls all over and is now pulling herself up and STANDING ALONE and I'm happy that she slides off my lap to go explore after a bottle or snuggle time but, I want to hold her for another minute, hour...makes me sad. So very sad. Laurel is SO beautiful (as is Ian). Thanks for sharing your sweet and touching thoughts!!

carrie said...

They DO grow up waaaay too fast, especially if it is your last, you want to hang onto every last bit of babyness for as long as you can!

Hooray for the walking though, time to lock everything up - if it wasn't already!!!


Anonymous said...

I sure don't want Caleb to start walking any time soon. I know it's going to happen but I just want him to be my baby forever!! How old is Laurel?

Mamacita Tina said...

the sheppard's:
Laurel is ten months, will be eleven months in a week.

Damselfly said...

How exciting! Go Laurel, go Laurel!

Mommy off the Record said...

Those pictures are soooo cute.

I know what you mean about it being hard to see them grow up. I guess, for me, it will be saddest when I know we're done having kids and I know that this is the last baby phase that I'll ever enjoy with a child. Perhaps that's why they say babies are so addicting.

Lady M said...

Go little walker!

Anonymous said...

That post just made me cry. I know exactly how you feel. My 11-month old is the same way, minus the walking. I am excited for her when she learns something new, but sad for myself at the same time, because, she's growing older and I am NOT ready for that. I was ok with my oldest doing these things, but Alyssa is the baby and possibly the last one.