They say the days are long and the years are short. I never truly understood this saying until one day I looked over and you were a little bigger, a little more independent. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Time is a thief, and as much as I may try to make it stand still, the reality is you’re growing more each and every day.

In the quiet moments, I find myself wondering what I did to deserve you. To have someone as loving, spunky, and smart as you calling me “Mama!” We’ve embarked on this journey together, bonded from the heart.

You won’t remember the happiness, the fear, or the abundant love I immediately felt upon seeing those two pink lines. The way I smiled every time I felt your strong, little kicks from inside. You won’t remember me kissing the top of your head when you were first laid on my chest, or the countless hours I’ve spent staring down, trying to burn the memory of your every tiny feature in my mind.

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You won’t remember me rocking, swaying, or bouncing you in my arms time and time again. Not to mention all of the diapers I’ve changed and snacks I’ve grabbed. You won’t remember the joy it brings to see you smiling at me when I walk into the room or the long, sleepless nights and early morning wakings.

But, I will never forget.

I will never forget the way you watch my face so intently while I rock your tired eyes to sleep. How it feels each and every time you outgrow a favorite outfit or you need the next size diapers. Never knowing when the first times will become the last. Sitting turns to crawling, and eventually, you’re walking and running all over. From milk to purées to eating solid foods, and needing my help turns into “I can do it on my own.” A sure sign time is fleeting and a constant reminder you won’t stay this little forever.

I will never forget the weight of your body in my arms. Growing a little heavier each month, until one day, you will want to lay next to me instead. I will never forget the way you babble words so sweetly, only I could understand what you’re trying to say. Or the way you are never quite sure what toy to play with, leaving a trail around the house for me to pick up later.

Here we are in the midst of all that is lovely, and at times, overwhelming.

A beautiful sentiment I bask in daily. Your ever-growing independence and bright, cheerful spirit bring so much joy it’s contagious. When I really stop and reflect, I find myself growing right alongside youinto the mother I’ve always dreamt of being.

RELATED: Dear Son: I’ve Loved Every Stage With You and I’m Never Ready to Say Goodbye

Parenthood is one of the greatest treasures in the world. Pure and beautiful, chaotic yet humbling. You, my dear, have made the mundane moments undeniably some of the best memories I will hold dearly, forever in my heart.

When I’m filled with stress, anxiety, or worry, I can always count on your smiles and unending love to pull me through. Looking over at you now, I see the beautiful soul you are growing up to be. I don’t know how I got so lucky to be your mom, but it is the best title I’ve ever held, and I will cherish it all my life.

You may not recall these little moments a day, month, or year from now, but I thank you for every single one of them. Because I will never forget.

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Danielle Duncan

I am a Midwest mom of two with a passion for writing, reading, and motherhood. I enjoy sharing positive and uplifting messages to fellow stay-at-home and working moms alike to turn the mundane day-to-day of endless laundry, cleaning, and occasional chaos into a life full of laughter and memories.

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