Posted in Authors, Blog, Featured, Just for you, Life as a mom, Mother, Shawna

Bye, bye, baby…

 “I kiss you and kiss you, with arms round my own,

Ah, how shall I miss you, when, dear, you have grown”

–William Butler Yeats

I lay in bed the other day, nurse-dreaming as Ruby suckled away at the breast. My hand cupped her head. As they often do, my thoughts rested on Ruby, too.

I remember the exact feel of her as she lay on my chest just after being born, her sweet healthy gurgle (she was born partway in her sac still), her serene little presence already clear in her shining eyes, the relaxed curl of her fist above my ribcage. I remember the feathery weight of her, that tiny bony neck, those silly little flailing arms, the little translucent eyelids. All of the things that have changed so much already in this chubby, solid little three-month-old.

My thoughts travelled further back to the day of Quinn’s birth more than two years ago, to that first look into her eyes, the flash of recognition that passed between us. The feeling of complete peace that filled my being when I realized she was healthy, beautiful and finally, blessedly here.

I thought about her early weeks, the sweet little “Waaaaaaa-aaah” she used to make. The funny little duck face as she concentrated. Her tiny little bony feet curled up near her bottom. Her little blinking eyes and grasping fingers, the way she loved having her cheek caressed, her giant gummy grin stretched across her little face.

I knew every gram of her, so I can tell you with absolute authority: There is nothing left of that little person now. I realize that she is still here with me  in this gorgeous, energetic little toddler. But she’s a completely different person. My baby is gone.

I love my big girl, and I wouldn’t trade her for anything, but the fact that that magical little baby Quinn is no longer here outside my memory just makes me ache. And she was just here! It’s not like I’m reflecting from my rocker. The clincher of parenthood is not that they grow so fast, but that they change so completely so many times over. There’s no point trying to hold on, but of course you have no choice but to do just that.

Already, the transformation is well underway in my little Ruby. I love watching her work to pull to a stand holding on to my fingertips, or proudly slumped over in her own little seated position, batting away at a favorite toy. She is working so hard to change so fast, but I’m working harder, using all of my strength to hold her tiny fleeting being in my heart forever.

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  1. Zomg, it goes by fast. I had no idea. At first it seemed like forever, and now I get all teary eyed watching my almost 18-month-old running away from me. I’m so glad I’m still nursing, because it’s the only time she’ll sit still and cuddle.

    Still…part of me can’t stop jealously watching pregnant woman and new babies and fantasizing about having another. The rational part of my brain knows that I need to cherish this alone time with the first one. This will never come again.

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