I hadn’t noticed lately, but there they were, still so chubby, still so little.
I had my kids 18 months apart.
The first year with two was a blur I cannot begin to explain.
The second only slightly slower.
And now here my son was, about to turn two.
I had tried as hard as I could to soak in each day. I specifically remember whispering to myself, ‘Don’t forget this moment.’ And yet what moment it was I cannot remember.
Perhaps it was lying on the living room floor sleeping next to my son as my daughter napped in her crib. I hazily remember this happening a lot. Perhaps it was the times the three of us would all climb into the bathtub to wash clean. It was either that or a stinky mommy for the day. Perhaps it was when we climbed out of the tub and I would hold my son close to me as my daughter and I would perform our own made up ritual song and dance, “We have towels on our head.” I do vaguely remember thinking how humiliated I would be if anyone ever saw me dancing like that.
But so many of the moments are forgotten it seems, and it bothers me. And so each night as I put them to sleep, one lying on either side of me, each taking their turn playing with my hair, I try hard to remember the blur. To not let it beat me.
Just the other night I stayed with them long after they both fell asleep. I put my face right next to my sweet boy’s, the one who is about to turn two, and I wept. For just yesterday he was my baby, snoozing with me on the living room floor. But tonight he was suddenly a little boy, and all I had done was blink.
They say this is how it happens. So suddenly. I guess I just didn’t really believe them.
The next day I found him sitting at the table completely covered in peanut butter, laughing his little face off. As I was helping him wash his hands in the sink I realized how chubby they still were. Not chubby like he needed less peanut butter in his life. No, chubby like little boy chubby.
The past two years were a blur of trying to catch memories.
But today was one again.
He was still my little boy. Independent, fierce, fearless, yes. But still with chubby hands.
And today I would once again whisper to myself, ‘Don’t forget this moment.’
He has been slow to speak. We were concerned for a while. Each day he has been gradually getting better. But last night, my slow to speak little boy clearly articulated two words to me. As he laid in the crook of my arm, we shared them together, over and over again, “Love you. Love you. Love you…”
And I realized that although it is often a blur, the blur stops to give us these moments. And these moments, many of which our minds will forget, our hearts will forever hold on to. For although I do not remember so many specifics of the day to day, when I look back in my heart, all I see is love.
Chubby little hands, and precious little voices.
And so we keep going, and we keep trying to grasp the moment, to slow down the blur.
*Top photo credit of jessieleighphotography.com.