The Mark of Time

On the eve of our son's first birthday I sat holding him after his last feeding of the day as he fell fast asleep in my arms.  Falling asleep being held is a rarity around here so I took advantage of this sweet moment - holding my sweet baby who was on his way to growing up. 

We had been working on weaning off his milk feedings.  The days leading up to his birthday were filled with feedings where he was crawling all over me.  It was time.  I needed to be done.  He needed to be done.  And we were getting there.

But as I sat there holding my sweet boy I wasn't ready to let him grow up.  I wasn't ready for his big first birthday.  And I wasn't ready to let go of a nursing connection we have had together for the past year.  Just me and him.  

Yet time wasn't going to stop.  He would turn one and we would both move on together.

While so much of me felt sadness over my son growing up another part of me was grateful for this mark of time.  Without this acknowledgment of a year past, I would just continue to go through the motions.  I would get irritated over another feeding.  Days would quickly pass.  Daily tasks would continue to pile up.  It would just be another day in this unending job of being a parent.

Yet this emotional milestone of turning one forced me to pause.  To hold my baby with a different set of eyes and heart.  Without it, I may so easily forget to be grateful.

It is hard to let go of things.  Especially when they are good.  But without change, without moving on, and without the growth that comes with it, I am afraid I might just take advantage of it all.  

So as we start to close this baby chapter of our lives, we open a new one.  Many more milestones to come and I am sure plenty more heartache.  But a new chapter, nonetheless, that I will surely look back on fondly.