From my hours of research into 'normal parenting' (and by research, I mean Facebook and by normal I mean someone whose children are not routinely having terrifying medical dramas)... there seems to be this common feeling of bittersweetness associated with your babies growing up. The many posts about tears at first birthdays or sadness mixed with joy at first steps. Of course there is the excitement but also this desire for time to just slow down a bit and not let those babies grow up in the blink of the eye. The need to savor the sweet days of infancy and those baby days.
This commonly expressed feeling has always been so foreign to me. I have never wanted time to slow down. Well I have certainly wanted a weekend to last longer and Monday to stay away, of course! But I have always looked at my babies growing up and hitting milestones and ages with an eagerness and a feeling of finally!! I have said before that we certainly made the most of an 8 month NICU stay and made fond memories... but did I ever want time to stand still and soak it up more, no!! I wanted my babies to hurry up and get big and well enough to come home. Those 8 months seemed very long and I urged time to go as fast as it could! And then the babies came home and dialysis was such a big deal at first and we just wanted them to get to be big enough for transplants! And Addie had so many issues on dialysis so I was so scared. I couldn't stop and enjoy now because I was so worried about her making it to the future. There was some relief after her transplant but knowing we still had Max to go and that his could be (and in the end, WAS) a bigger deal made me again ready for time to pass and us to get on the other side of that hurdle! And of course by rule of the watched pot, the more you long for time to pass, the slower it does go!
And with the developmental delays and the concern over what they might be able to do or not do, every milestone felt more like 'Finally!' than like the end of a sweet baby era!
For all those reasons, I have not really ever felt any desire for time to slow down or to stay in a stage longer. I haven't really missed a phase yet. I miss people (like NICU nurses) and certain mannerisms (like Addie's air kisses) but really missing an age or a phase of our life, honestly just hasn't happened.
UNTIL NOW. I absolutely love where we are at RIGHT NOW. And I don't want it to go by fast any more. I love having two year olds. Tantrums and mischeif and all. CP and hearing aids and g tubes and all. I love it. And if I could press pause and just stay here a little longer I totally would. Not because I dread the future. Because I really don't. But just because for the first time in two years I feel so content and happy just to be.
I feel it even more strongly with Addie than Max since a lot of Max's sweet baby qualities are more enduring and he hasn't changed as dramatically. I just don't feel the effects of time as profoundly with him. But I look at Addie and I just love everything about how she is right now and I just want to slow time down and soak up every bit of her beautiful half baby half little girl state. She is so much still my baby and yet becoming such a big girl. It is the sweetest thing ever. And I totally look forward to her talking and playing even more adorably and I know her future is full of fun things to be excited for... but I kind of hope they don't come too fast. Because before I know it she will outgrow smocked dresses and she will know how to talk back and she will choose someone over mommy... and so I am ok with just staying right here for as long as we can.
I will celebrate every new milestone and every new phase but now I will get to do it with that bittersweet tear of knowing i have so loved this one that is passing as well. So I hope and pray that these next two years pass as slowly as these last two have because I plan on really enjoying these next ones and living as much as possible in the moment enjoying each day. Wow, I am really becomming a normal mom. Ha!