I told myself I would take tons of great pictures of Forrest. As soon as he is sitting up, I thought, I'll be able to take him outside for photo shoots all the time. Well, the sitting up came later than I expected. The first three months of his life passed both agonizingly slowly and insanely fast. I blinked and suddenly he can ride in the seat of the shopping cart and he can hold and feed himself teething biscuits.
He went from being a barely sentient lump to having likes and dislikes, favorite toys and songs and sounds. This is exactly the stage I hoped for when he was first born.
And yet (of course there's a "and yet" here), I find myself wishing I hadn't spent those first few months wishing, wishing, wishing for the time to go faster, for him to grow up. I still find myself having those wishes: I wish he could sit up; I wish he could talk and tell me what's wrong; I wish his stomach could hold more milk at once; I wish he napped better; I wish he slept through the night.
I wanted him to grow up... and he did. And (here's another), I wish I hadn't rushed it.
As difficult as they were, I miss the days I spent on the couch with him, holding him as he slept, feeding him bottle after bottle, two hours on the dot without fail. I miss his sleepy faces and accidental smiles. I miss being able to swaddle him and lie with him in bed. I wish I'd taken advantage of that--to watch movies, to read, to whatever--instead of wishing he would get bigger, faster.
On Saturday, I struggled to get a 9 month size onesie over his head. He ate pumpkin, banana, and oatmeal for breakfast. We played and read a book and sang a song. We went to Eugene and he rode in a shopping cart. I took his picture and I thought, I can't believe he's so big.
Suddenly, I realized that time was drifting past me, whether I felt like it or not: time had gone by and I'd wished it. I don't have any professional photos of Forrest as a baby--only ones taken on my iPhone and a few vague attempts of my own. I dragged Danny outside to take pictures I'd been imagining in my head for months.
"He's only little for so long," I said, very early in Forrest's life. While I believed it, I also, in the back of my mind, couldn't wait for him to just get bigger.
I look at him now and all I can think is, just a few more days of this. A few more days before you crawl, before you stand up, before you walk over to me, before you talk. I can't wait to experience every day with Forrest; I can't wait to hear everything he has to say. But I also want just a few more nights cuddling, a few more long naps on the couch, a few more days where he refuses to hold his own bottle as he eats.
Just a few more days with my squishy baby before he becomes a rambunctious little boy.