Posted in Blog, House and home, Life as a mom, Mother, Shawna

Huhta, huhta, huhta!

When Q was a teensy tiny little newborn, she had this amazingly endearing cry-sigh-laugh that would turn my heart into raspberry jelly every time I heard it. She would start with a crying “Wah!!” then gradually move on to an uncertain “Wahh??” and then a sort of calm “Wahhhh” before she ended with a content, sighing “Whahhhah.” All of this would occur in the space of about 10 seconds. It was SO cute.

She did it no less than 20 times a day. All of our earliest visitors heard it. We perfected our impressions of it daily. It was her THING. And then suddenly, she stopped doing it. Forever. Just like that. She went from doing it hourly to never doing it ever again.

That is the thing about babies. People are always telling you how the time passes so fast, but that’s not it exactly. I mean, I look back on my last days before becoming a mommy, just about a year ago, and it feels like at least a decade ago. Sometimes, it feels like a lifetime ago.

So it’s not that the time passes quickly, necessarily, it’s just how ephemeral these little ones are. You try to hold on to them, but they are forever slipping through your fingers.  You fall in love with that gummy little grin and then the teeth start peeking through and your heart sinks. You try to memorize that little smile, but it’s already too late.

Just when you get used to a part of them, it disappears forever. I look at my baby girl crawl and I try to picture what on earth she did before crawling. Already, I struggle to do it without pictures.

The noises seem the most fleeting in their constant change. In the morning, when I pull Quinn out of her crib, it’s not at all rare to hear something I’ve never heard before. “Zah, zah zah!!” she will tell me happily, or “Huhta, huhta, huhta, huhta,” she chants. Maybe she will do it for weeks before retiring it forever. Maybe she will only say it the once, ever.

I try to delight in these moments as much as I can, and I delude myself that I will be able to remember them. But even as I hold on, there is a weary awareness. The girl I fell in love with in her first instant on earth is already long gone, even though I will know her for the rest of my life. Loving a baby is so bittersweet because it’s part of the deal for her to be constantly shedding parts of herself, and for you to begrudgingly let them go.

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