My little J was born just before the year ended, entering this world in a perfect home birth marked by the colors of its moments –
The golden light of the bathroom while I bathed my 2 year old – his last bath as an only child – breathing gently through surges. The purple of the sweet potato I ate for energy, chased by a cup of valerian chamomile tea. The red of the cozy flannel sheets on which I lay as our sweet second child slipped quickly into the waiting arms of his father, attended by the loving care of our midwives.
Within hours, we were alone, tucked into our family bed, suddenly a party of four.
At 12 hours old, he was already cuddled sweetly on my chest, his perfect rosebud lips parted with his deep breaths. Nursing was a piece of cake, a welcome change from my first challenging start with my older son. Babywearing was a natural part of our parenting. The days were filled with snuggling my two kids, and the weeks passed quickly.
But I blinked.
As an experienced babywearer, I knew that I had the confidence and skills to wear little J on my back. I craved my favorite meal – hot pot that reminded me of family holidays growing up. I knew how to get him up safely, and I knew that he would sleep through lunch. And so, in the parking lot of Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot, I Santa tossed that little guy up so that I could feel his warm breath on the back of my neck, and I had lunch.
And I blinked.
Coffee dates, playgroups – time spent with friends, and at the park with older brother. Running errands: Target, Costco, just into the grocery store to pick up some fresh bread.
It was easy, and it was comfortable, and I felt more human. I was capable, and my baby was safe. I wish I’d taken a moment more to consider that, no matter how long the days are, the years fly by so quickly. I didn’t realize what I was missing.
Somehow, while I had little J up on my back – secure high back carry, double hammock, reinforced ruck…
Suddenly, I didn’t have a baby anymore; I had a toddler who wanted to run and play. I had a little guy who would only go up for short periods of time when his legs were tired.
Somehow, through the supermans and the hip scoots, I missed the cuddles – those sweet moments of newness. I missed so many smiles and expressions. I spoke to him as we walked through the grocery store, yes. We interacted, and we were attached, but I blinked and missed out on that heart-to-heart time.
There’s no sense in having regrets, right? We learn from our experiences. I am who I am today because of who I have been in the past. But if I could do it again, knowing that everything changes in the blink of an eye, I would cherish it more.
I would wear baby close to my heart. I would kiss his sweet face. I would smile back at him so that he could see it.
So quickly they grow… and if you blink, you might miss it.
Image of our post author at a local babywearing event, taken by Ariel Dolfo Photography