My boy said “banana” tonight. This might not seem like such a big deal, but until now (even though he is a little advanced in the talking category, which my mother says is “pay-back”) banana has been “nee-ma-nah”. When he makes these changes, it feels like the earth shifts a little and I become physically aware of its rotation. Each moment moving further away from baby and closer to kid.
I have always been one of those people who is way too conscious of how quickly time passes. When I was a kid myself, I would have nightmares often in which my parents died and I became the oldest generation in my family. In my twenties, this was exacerbated by the deaths of my three remaining grandparents and several people I knew who were my age, the Iraq war and Sept. 11, 2001. These events made me think I needed to breathe deeper because tomorrow isn’t a given.
Having a child had mellowed me in some ways. Because a toddler takes so much attention, I don’t have the room in my brain to worry about all the other things I used to worry about. I worry about new things: his significant over-bite, the temperature in his room at night, whether or not he will ever be able to go sledding. Mostly, my worries are about his comfort and happiness. There isn’t much room for anything else most days.
The smile on his face when he said “banana” was huge. The newness of that word filled him with pride and excitement. There are a lot of these moments lately as M has started to lose his baby fat, play independently and take more of an interest in having friends. While I, too, am filled with excitement for his day-to-day discoveries and accomplishments, I can also feel the movement under my toes. Sometimes, I want the rotation to slow down or even pause for a while. Sometimes, I want him to be my baby forever.