Late last night, (while watching Parenthood) I kept hearing Sass coughing. You know, the croup kind of cough that everyone has right now and is just so hard to listen to because you know there is really nothing you can do about it. She has reactive lungs (pre asthma?) and has had breathing treatments since she came out in all her glory via emergency c-section. It has been a nightly or daily routine most of her life during the fall and winter, and very often it is late at night when I get her up and she falls asleep on my chest. It is always pretty fast, and I always treasure getting to hold a half asleep baby in my arms and then carry her back to bed, hopefully a little better than before.
I dont think that she even really needed a breathing treatment last night, but we decided we would do whatever we could to help her get a little more sleep.
So, I carried her downstairs after I had gotten the whole set up out, and while I was trying to maneuver her onto my lap, it just hit me like a ton of bricks. She didn't fit. She was way too big, and sometime since the last breathing treatment, (and obviously much earlier than that) she had grown up. With tears just rolling down my face, I held her and tried to remember what it felt like when she fit so perfectly under my arm and in my lap. And, simultaneously, tried to enjoy the feeling of holding the new big girl that she had become right before my eyes.
I know I wax on and on about this, so one would assume that I have come to grips with this growing that happens so constantly, but I guess I really haven't. I have watched them go to school this year and be so so brave. So much braver than I could have been. I have watched our weekends go from plans around naps to plans around bike and scooter trips at the park. And I have loved every single minute. Which, I know, really should go without saying. But, my anxiety about this year, and all the changes that it brought, was so heavy that every time I was having fun, I couldn't help but be surprised. Every. Time. Talk about short term memory loss.
So, I guess, late last night when I couldn't go back to that moment where I held my baby late at night, and that baby smell was replaced with a big kid smell of pencils and glue, and the carrying back to bed was replaced with her walking herself back up, I finally got it.
There are no more surprise- they are so big! moments. I mean, I know they will continue to change and grow and that will surprise me, but the new normal is here and there is no going back. They are people now- and the moments of babyness that I could catch glimpses of and hang on to, are now just memories.
I dont know what it was about last night exactly that made it all real, but in its bitter bitter sweetness, I am thankful for it. I am thankful for the eye opening reminder that it gave me to hold on to every minute and enjoy every second.
Because it's just gone before you know it.