Happy six months to Henry and Arden!
Moms always say things like “I can’t believe they’re six months old already!” but really, I can believe it. I’ve been with them every day and night of the last six months and I’ve immersed myself completely. I don’t feel like I have whiplash because I wouldn’t allow myself to be caught off-guard, at least not this early in the game. I told myself over and over that it would go quickly, and I think that reminder helped slow it down.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve buried my face in their little necks, breathing them in and saying I love you. I often lay them both in front of me and tell them they’re my dreams come true, they’re the songs in my heart. I look at them, look away, and by the time I look back they’re even cuter than I remembered. Babies are opiates, I tell you.
Mike and I notice every day how much more they’re able to connect with us, to really see us and interact. Their laughter is carbonated joy and there’s nothing too embarrassing to do to earn it.
In the last month we’ve been getting a taste of what it will be like to actually do things with them as participants. Over three weekends we took them to the Seattle Aquarium, the Pacific Science Center, and Pike Place Market. We always wear them facing outward so they’re able to see the sights and be entertained by it all. Some of the entertainment for us is the constant stream of commentary we get from people as they pass us by. They always speak as though we can’t hear them, making comments just as they pass or pointing from three feet away. It never bothers us; it’s actually really fun to parade our little spectacles around.
A huge part of me is in a rapid-breath panic at the thought of being in the second half of their first year, and it’s family activities like this that keep me excited instead of in mourning. I find that the more we do together, the more we have to look forward to, and the less there is for me to cry about leaving behind.
I read a great essay recently about parents’ tendencies to over-savor some moments of their children’s lives. We can grasp at the present so fiercely that the moment isn’t authentic at all. This struck a nerve with me because I’m always exclaiming, “This is the only time they’ll be 22 weeks and 3 days old ever in their entire lives! They’ll never again fit into this onesie! They can roll over — I miss when they were just blobs! What if Arden never blows bubbles like this again? What if Henry stops laughing when I reveal that it’s me behind the blanket?” Life isn’t meant to be lived as though it’s already passed by; at times I catch myself projecting into the future imagining myself reminiscing about a moment as it’s happening. That’s a little frightening, and it’s a slippery slope. Soon I could be collecting their nail clippings, and we can’t have that.
With this in mind, I’m thrilled that they are exactly as they are today: scrumptious thighs, a blush of fine hair, blue eyes for days and devastating smiles.
*gorgeous photos courtesy of Lindsay Schuette.
Also, what my mom calls “her joy”: walking into their nursery after their naps, each of them cooing and babbling, faces lit up like Christmas at the sight of us coming to get them. It really is one of the happiest moments of my day (or my mom’s when she’s with me) and it’s something I will carry with me the rest of my life.
To every day ahead, my loves.