When I had my oldest son, I was often told “babies don’t keep” and to enjoy all of the little milestones and moments. Although I was warned as a first-time mother, I couldn’t have expected just how true that statement was, babies don’t keep. It seemed as if my baby was changing along with the seasons. Moments piled on top of moments that make you want to press pause on time so you can just keep reliving these precious moments over and over again until they’re so ingrained in your heart.
Just like that precious moment when the first big snow of the season falls. The snow covers everything like a fresh white blanket straight from the dryer, smooth and soft, not a wrinkle or crease in sight. I feel like I should stay in my house forever so my footprints do not interrupt the beauty and peace of that fresh white blanket of snow. I remember looking at both of my sons when they were newborns, not wanting to interrupt them sleeping so as to not disturb that same beauty and peace. Fresh out of the womb, skin as smooth and soft as that first snowfall. Once the snow has been explored and life resumes, it often seems that the snow disappears just as fast as it appeared. Just like the newborn stage. I spent hours, day and night, memorizing every inch of their skin, smells, and sounds while everything seemed to change within what felt like the blink of an eye. Suddenly, my newborn wasn’t a newborn anymore. Babies don’t keep, and neither do the seasons.
Spring brings with it a lot of hope. It’s finally time to put the puffy coats away, the promise of warmer temperatures is within reach, and life starts to sprout around us. New blooming flowers seem to pop up everywhere. My growing baby reaches a new milestone every time I turn around. First, he holds his head up, next he begins to roll around, he begins to sit up on his own, and then he begins to pull himself up to stand. My baby is blooming before my eyes. Babies don’t keep, and neither do the seasons.
Summer months are filled with swimming, picnics, barbecues, vacations and so much more fun. You don’t want to miss out on anything. My baby is now walking and he wants to see the world. He wants to walk everywhere. He doesn’t want to miss out on anything either. Now moments of stillness with him don’t come often. I am more grateful for every time he decides to sit on my lap to enjoy a summer breeze or lay with me to read a story. A moment of stillness filled with gratitude. Like a summer sunset. A summer sunset feels like a paused moment in time. Every night I thank God for such a beautiful sunset, and baby. Babies don’t keep, and neither do the seasons.
As quick as summer comes, summer goes. And so does my son being a baby. He is now a young toddler. With fall comes all of the colors of October. The reds, oranges, browns, yellows. I find myself just staring out of our car window as we drive in constant awe at the sea of colors. My toddler is now potty training. On one hand, I’m excited for the hopeful near future of being fully potty trained, but my heart also aches because this means my diaper-wearing baby is no longer that in fact. Standing next to me, holding onto my shoulder, balancing on one foot while slipping his other in and through the pull-up. No matter what size they are, it always looks like he is wearing high-waisted pants. The crinkle of the pull-up brings me silly joy, just like walking along a sidewalk full of leaves crinkling below my feet. Babies don’t keep and neither do the seasons.
After fall, winter comes again. That same fresh and smooth blanket of snow falls for the first time of the season. Ahead is another year of milestones and moments that are so beautiful yet pull at your heart because babies don’t keep.