I used to grab him every morning at 5 a.m. when he’d cry out for me.
I’d trudge my tired body to his nursery, I’d scoop him up, and I’d carry him into bed with me.
I’d let him sleep with me, snuggled into my chest.
I’d spend hours every morning just breathing him in. Watching the rise and fall of his chest. Kissing his forehead and snuggling his sweet little body.
Then one morning, he started sleeping all the way through.
I used to hold him for every nap. I’d spend all afternoon snuggled up with him while he slept on me. He needed my scent.
But I longed for him to nap in his crib.
And then one day—he did. He napped in his crib.
And even though he’s my second baby, I completely forgot how quickly things change.
How quickly newborn clothes get packed away.
How quickly that smile reflex turns into the real smile.
How quickly the rolling happens.
How quickly bottles/breastfeeding sessions get exchanged for real food.
How nighttime snuggles and feedings turn into a restful night of independent sleep.
I forgot how quickly it all just kind of . . . slips away.
And it makes me think about how much I longed to sleep all the way through the night.
How much I craved having my afternoons back to get things done around the house instead of holding him.
But today, I looked at him.
And I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I spent the morning snuggling him in bed.
And I didn’t know that last time would be the last time.
And I miss it. I miss those snuggles so much.
Right now, I sometimes crave for different things.
I crave a little more independence some days.
But I know. I know once that independence happens, I can never go back to the way it was before.
I just can’t.
Today I’m going to remember to savor everything about him that’s still a baby.
I’m not going to wish for the next milestone, the next big change.
Instead, I’m going to savor the moments we’re in right now.
I’m going to savor what makes it difficult and beautiful all together.
Because really, that’s life.
And if we forget to savor the moments, life just passes right on by.
Before we realized that those difficult moments, those difficult phases, were what made life so beautiful.
This post originally appeared on Messy Footprints