I’m not sure when I understood that he would just grow up.
I wouldn’t debate when to introduce solids or record every new tooth in a baby book.
I would blink and he would be running with sticks and requesting a Cars backpack and snack in a baggie not a bowl for his first day of preschool.
Panicking a little, I look back and worry I haven’t collected enough. As he has raced beside or behind the big kids, I have tried to keep up, stash away moments into our bank, catch pennies before they hit the ground.
I find my self bending and scooping and looking up to see him gone again… far ahead, pretending to be the tallest or 4 or the bestest couch jumper in all of the planet.
When I catch something new, a shape carefully crafted or a number past 10, I take it in my hand, collect it greedily, kissing him before he has a chance to be too big again, saving it for my bank.
But sometimes his eyelids droop and he misses a nap or his little knees cry from a fall and I swoop in for my moments. Wrapping him in cheek kisses and tear-stopping reminders, I soak up all I have gathered. Rare coins that catch the light just perfectly, ones I have learned to turn slowly and never hurry to tuck away. Moments saved just for me.
Clink. Clink. Clink.
Nestled in a porcelain bank of memories that pass faster than the coins fall, my mothering hands have held them each. Taken the time to appreciate them as they come and place them where they belong, knowing I will treasure them long past today.
I will run ahead or fall behind to keep pace with my youngest, before I blink our bank will be full.
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i love this – but maybe not the best choice on the eve of my baby going to preschool tomorrow – wah! where did the time go?
I’m feeling the same, we made it through our first day yesterday. Hope it goes okay for you!
This is so beautiful, heartbreaking, joyful. A reminder.
Stop it! You’re making me cry!
Oh please, let me be able to remember this post and treasure every moment!!
Lady Jennie says
I just can’t stop treating my baby like a baby. Even though he’s a big boy and will be 4 this Fall. (sigh)
This is incredibly beautiful. So often I find myself catching a candid moment and wondering, “Where did my baby go?” And thinking back to those moments gone by when I wished and prayed so hard that we would one day make it this far.
Suddenly my eighth grade graduation song starts to make sense. Boyz to Me. End of the Road.
My youngest is getting big so fast I find myself stopping to look at him and wondering how this all happened already.
Absolutely beautiful, Jessica. And lovely.
What a gorgeous way of looking at it. I’m collecting, too, though I never thought about it quite this way.
We are collecting the good and the “glad this is almost over” parts, which makes them growing up a little easier to handle right?
So beautiful. I often feel melancholy to see my two grow up but I like your way of looking at it, that these precious moments are banked and collected, for us to look at again instead of gone completely. I do wonder if my youngest will be my last. But regardless I hope I remember to walk with him as often as I can.
Beautiful words, I really like that coin metaphor, I wouldn’t picture myself an interpretation of collecting coins like this, but it is really breathtaking.
And this is why we’re so wealthy as mothers – banking in all those moments with each child. I’m so aware that my 3 month old is my last baby and I’m clinging onto every single minute with him. Every. Single. Minute. And I’m not worrying about milestones (unless significant) and solids and all those other things I did with my first. I just want to clutch him to me close.
Love the way you wrote this, beautiful as always.
Courtney Kirkland says
Your way with words constantly blows me away. What a beautiful way to describe the fleeting moments of childhood. I wonder sometimes if I haven’t scooped up quite enough memories or quite enough moments with my oldest. I hope you continue to fill that bank up.
I hope you collect millions more memories to go with those already in your bank. And I worry about treasuring moments with both my kids, but yes, especially the youngest.
julie gardner says
I didn’t know my youngest was my last…
This makes me wish (so much) that I had.
And also glad for you (and him) that you are treasuring the moments when you can.
I suppose the best kind of bank is one where you can withdraw your memories whenever you want…with interest. (Which must be love, right?)
Leigh Ann says
The youngest is so strange. Zoe is so independent, so do it herself, but then will insist that I hold her for prolonged periods of time. I still rock with her before bedtime and nap time because she lets me and I love it. And while I always viewed her sisters as “big girls” at this age, she is still so babyish to me. She’ll be Baby Zoe until she’s in high school. I hope.
That is exactly how Sawyer is, he wants to be a big kid but is happy to be called Baby Sawyer and be rocked to sleep.
Never though about it that way but I like it!
Very nice indeed.