let's leave a light on for us

This afternoon at the park, a toddler inquisitively walked up to us, taking a moment to stare at Ethan who was contently swinging in his favorite swing. "Baby," the toddler pointed out, and his mother nodded. "Baby," she confirmed, stopping to coo and make a silly face at Ethan, who smiled at the welcomed attention. As they walked away, the toddler's mother began to recount stories of when he was a baby. It was a moment that soaked itself into my skin and made my heart stop with a somber realization: one day Ethan, too, would be older.

One day, we will no longer smile at the birds as they fly overhead while I push him just high enough on the swing. One day, he will beg me to let him spend the evening at his friend's house and I will inevitably sit up and watch the clock until he calls to tell me he's ready to come home. One day he will take his beloved stuffed animals and place them in a closet carefully enough so that they are comfortable but far enough away where no one will be able to see them. One day he will have his heart broken and I wonder if he will let me hold him close while he cries, or if he will express his sadness in a poem or song, or if he will be the one to break a heart. One day he will ask me to not do something -- talk, look in his very direction, breathe -- because it will embarrass him. One day he will ask me for the car keys and I won't be able to watch as he gets behind the wheel with his father in the passenger seat. One day he will fall in love. One day I will watch him marry and become a parent himself. And these days, all of them? They don't seem far enough away.

It makes all of these milestones a little more bittersweet. I've replaced my eagerness to watch him finally master crawling like he so badly wants with a hesitation, a silent plea for him to stay small just a little bit longer. It has heightened my appreciation for lazy afternoon naps that I let him take curled up on my chest instead of in his crib, Roseanne re-runs playing in the background while his hand in my hair convinces me to just close my eyes, too, and get some rest. On those nights where he has trouble sleeping and finds himself up more than he has slept, in my exhausted stupor I still long for those afternoons at the park, smiling as the birds fly overhead while we swing, swing, swing until it's begrudgingly time to get home before the mosquitos get us and say our goodnights for the evening.

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  1. Oh how I love these pics of Ethan! He is just adorable. I couldnt agree more with everything you wrote in this beautiful post! Im ok that Zo is not crawling {more than OK}. I just want time to freeze somedays...the world hurries to fast and I dont want to rush along with it.

  2. Baby feet are so cute, and his eyes melt your heart. Your post made me want to have a little one ASAP. So keep posting cute pictures so I can get my baby fix!

  3. I know exactly what you mean. When they are tiny infants we can't wait to see them grow. But then just a few short months later we realize how quickly that time goes! If only we could press "slow" on life...


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