Today my son is 6 months old. 6 months old. 6 months old. It sounds so foreign. It feels so unreal. In the last month, Matteo now rolls over, has started to reach for me, is now eating fruits and vegetables, attempted his first sippy cup, and just yesterday, his two bottom teeth started poking through. Whaaaat? I am his biggest cheerleader, celebrating and encouraging and hollering for each milestone, but that one sick part of me is saying Noooo! Waiiitttt! Stopppp! Don’t get any bigger. Stay my baby forever.
It’s already going by so fast. Now I know what all these mothers and fathers are always complaining about. My own father always told me one of the hardest things for him was when he realized I was getting too old to watch cartoons with him anymore on Saturday mornings, all snuggled up on the couch. I want to tell him I’ll watch cartoons with you, Daddy. I’m never too old. I’ll always be your baby. Because now I know just how bittersweet it was for my parents to watch my brother, sister, and I grow up. The word ‘Bittersweet’ rings so fitting and so true to my newest Mommy Dilemma. I am extremely proud and amazed and happy that my son is growing so fast, that he is so strong, that he is excelling beautifully. But I am so sad that some day soon, he won’t fit in my arms when I cradle him, he won’t hold tightly onto my fingers or stroke my face gently, or look up at me adoringly while I am feeding him his ba-ba.
There’s going to be a time that his eyes won’t light up when I walk into a room, a time when I won’t be the girl that puts the biggest smile on his face, a time where he won’t think every single word I say to him is so funny and interesting. There is going to be a time where he is going to be embarrassed by the millions of kisses I give to him each day and he is going to start to push me away. There is going to be a time when I can no longer dress him in all his cute outfits, no longer watch him splish splash and giggle his sweet baby giggle in the bathtub, no longer see his little legs and feet dance in delight as I come near him, no more mommy and Matteo reading time, no more morning selfies sent to Daddy each morning to brighten his work day, no more adoring looks of love that he sends my way no matter what he is doing, just to make sure I’m looking.
The way my son looks at me now is something I wish I could capture in a glass jar and treasure forever. I might not need that glass jar though. That mesmerized look, that twinkle in my son’s eyes when he looks at me will be forever imprinted in my brain and engraved in my heart. It is something I could never forget. It makes me feel like no matter what else I have done in life, I have done at least one thing right.
The one piece of advice I would give any woman about to become a mother is to treasure every single moment you have with them because it really goes by in the blink of an eye. I feel like I was just in the hospital giving birth to this beautiful gift from God and now I am pulling down the 6 to 9 month clothes bin and staring at it in disbelief. Each day with Matteo is a new discovery, a new sound, a new object he favors, a new unveiling of one of the many pieces that will help mold him into the man he will one day become. ‘Man.’ My tiny little boy will one day be a man. Unfathomable. But maybe I will have loved him just right and cheered for him just right and taught him just right so that he will be this incredible, loving, smart, loyal, and amazing man. And though I will be tremendously proud of that man, he will still always be my precious little baby to me.