My baby turned 4 this week. I can’t believe another birthday has come and gone. Once again I’m left asking how time has passed so quickly. Most things baby related are now a distant memory—no more diapers or board books, and even most of the baby toys are gone. The only remnants of the beautiful creature I brought home from the hospital are his pudgy little hands and an occasional cuddle in the rocking chair after a bad dream.
Thinking back, I can still remember most of his major milestones. He rolled over at four months and crawled at seven. He walked at nine months and practically ran at ten. He gave up his bottle by a year and a half and was potty trained by the time he was 3. Now he’s enrolled in preschool, which means he’ll be away from me all day, every day, in just a few months.
There were laughs and giggles and plenty of sleepless nights. Sometimes it felt like weeks would drag on through the endless cycle of work and day care, dinner and play time, bath and bed. Somewhere along the way my baby grew into a big boy right before my eyes. I wish I’d known the time would go by so fast. I took much of that precious time for granted, not realizing that one day I’d be looking ahead in disbelief that by his next birthday my boy would be getting ready for kindergarten.
During a recent cleaning spree, I stumbled upon his diaper bag in the bottom of a closet, abandoned immediately once the diapers were gone. After a few tears, it dawned on me that what used to seem like an inconvenience is now another sign that my baby is relying on me less and less all of the time.
There are many perks to his new -found independence – no more diaper changes in the middle of the mall and a lot more sleep at night. But on special occasions like this, I can’t help but fondly remember the baby I once had and gaze astonishingly at the little boy that he is now.
How do you celebrate birthdays?