When you become a parent, there’s no shortage of people who’ve been in your shoes who tell you to cherish every moment. They say it goes by quickly and you’ll miss it when it’s gone.
Most of the time I just smile and nod at these adages, but lately, I’ve started taking them to heart. I just don’t know how you went from a newborn to an 8-month-old. So I’m paying closer attention now, making sure not to miss you growing up.
But you will grow up, and I already know: I’m gonna miss you.
I’m gonna miss that little tuft of hair on your head that won’t lay flat and the way your little hands go pat pat on my chest or on your toys like a drum. I’ll miss the way you stare up at me lovingly and subsequently slap my nose and play with my lips. I’ll miss the way you find my tongue incredibly fascinating.
I’m gonna miss the way you reach for new objects like a sloth, but like a cheetah when it’s star-shaped puffs. I’ll miss the way you gum up your food like an old man who forgot to wear his dentures. And I’ll miss the way you always steal my straw when I’m trying to take a drink.
I’ll miss the way you express excitement: with a roar or by breathing quick little gasps. I’m gonna miss the way you giggle and throw your head to the side when you’re tickled. And the way you pop your head up from a nap and smile. And I will so miss the way you lay down the boogie when the music comes on.
I’ll miss the way you’ve started associating me with the word “mama”.
I’ll miss the way you play with your ear like a door stopper when you’re tired, and the way you hmm hmm hmm hmm yourself into a deep sleep. I’ll miss how you always need to have one leg out of the blanket. I’m really gonna miss the way you call out for me from your crib and the weight of your body on my chest as I rock you back to sleep.
I’m just gonna miss this you.
So I’ll squeeze you a little tighter even though you don’t always enjoy it. And I’ll keep asking for all those open-mouth kisses you like to give even though they’re slobbery.
I’m gonna miss this you, baby. But at the same time . . . I’m excited to see what “you” comes next.