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Seeing the Future, Now

Today’s the five month mark.  I’m starting to fear the racing passage of time.  I’ve got this straining eagerness to experience every milestone of hers – crawling, standing, walking, talking – as soon as possible, warring with my deep desire to freeze her exactly as she is right now and never let her grow up another centimeter, nor take one more step away from me.  Everyone speaks of how quickly babies change, and I only now understand what that means.

My girlfriend Debbi was in town for the summer with her daughter Lily, and they came over for a couple play dates with us.  Lily is three months ahead of Madeleine, and when I first met Lily my daughter was two weeks old to Lily’s more than three months.  I was in awe of Lily, convinced she was some sort of baby genius because she could hold her own head up, sit up on someone’s lap, and smile at everyone in her path.  Her diapers looked huge to me, and I was convinced Maddie would never be that big or mature.  Six weeks later, Lily came back on Madeleine’s 8-week birthday as an almost-five-month-old.  This time, Lily performed Amazing Feats of Strength by lying on her stomach and pushing herself up on her arms!  She was reaching for Maddie, crowing and shouting happily at everyone.  Again, I was sure we’d never reach this level of advancement.

A month and a half later, I realized Maddie had reached the age Lily was at her first visit.  I looked afresh at my daughter and was shocked to see that she had grown up while I wasn’t looking!  She could hold her head up!  She was smiling!  And yes, the diapers were bigger!  A similarly unnerving discovery happened today as I looked back on Lily’s second visit.  I realize we see our babies so often throughout the day that the change may happen without our seeing it.  I know it takes some sort of road marker, like Lily for me, to step back and see my daughter growing up by leaps and bounds.  I see newborns on the street and know how far Maddie’s come in such a short time.  I love my daughter and am so grateful that she’s gotten to this point so (relatively!) easily, and in great health.

We’re obviously doing something right, because Maddie’s thriving.  She’s growing and changing and discovering the world at an incredible pace.  We should be proud of ourselves.  That doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it.


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