My baby is about to turn one. One.
I'm at a coffee shop, watching these women with their 3 month-olds and a little part of me feels… what? A pang of sorts. A pang that I won't have another little one that fits just so in the crook of my arm. A tiny being that is still with wonder and mighty with promise.
I feel shock that a whole year has passed since that frenetic summer filled with anticipation for our newest, packing in as much dedicated time with our first, and living in the frenzy of launching my first startup, a baby in its own way.
But a year has flown by, since that moment Peanut entered our lives with the same joy that seems to just constantly bubble out of her. She is the perfect balance to her bright, cautious older sister. The sweet to her sassy, the bold to her thoughtful, the brash to her considering, the easygoing to her demanding.
I can't wait to see this next year unfold – when Peanut really starts walking and never stops. When she starts uttering her first words and tells us what fills her mind. When she really shares her personality with us and our family can create the space from which she can bloom from.
My heart swells with pride and joy and anticipation for seeing her continuing to grow.
But there is this piece of my heart that isn't ready to be the mother of a toddler and a preschooler. I will miss the soft soles of her pudgey little feet. Her arms reaching out because I am the center of her fascination and her world. That "new to this world" smell hidden in the nooks and creases of her little body.
There is a singular magic and wonder of our world that resides solely within these tiny, helpless but completely wondrous little humans. The power and mystery of biology is never so apparent as with a one-week old, her closed eyelids fluttering as her fingers open and close in a beautiful rhythm known only to her.
Those moments have already begun occupying the back corners of my memory, making room for the loud, bright barrage of memories being created in this new phase.
So as I look over at these new moms (hopefully in a non-creepy – "no I don't actually want your baby" way), I guess I'm ready to embrace all the wonders of her next year. I'll miss the quiet moments of nursing, but not the dehumanizing hamster wheel of pumping. I'll miss the tiny body pressed up against mine but not the brutal sleep deprivation. I'll miss pushing a stroller holding a life so fresh, but not the isolating self-doubt that hounds every new mother.
My baby is almost one.