I Love You. You’re Perfect. Period.

My baby is seven months old tomorrow. I can hardly believe it! I got an email from What to Expect (which I’m not sure if i endorse them or not) telling me, “Congratulations! Now that your baby is seven months old, you’ve accomplished the first great feat of motherhood- getting your baby to sleep through the night!”

Well, he is seven months old, and he is not sleeping through the night- not even close. In fact, not only is he not sleeping through the night, but he is also fighting me at naptime. Every time I lay him down, the crying begins. He is not yet rolling from belly to back. He is not scooting himself anywhere. He talks a lot, but he is not saying “da-da-da” or “ma-ma-ma” like the books say he might be.

I hear from other moms, “I bet you just can’t wait to get a full night’s sleep!” or “Won’t it be fun when he starts talking?” or “Oh really? He’s not crawling yet?”

Of course I want my son to grow. I do look forward to seeing him hit new landmarks, learning new things, and I do admit that it would be nice to have an uninterrupted night of sleep. Am I tired? Yes. Do I get frustrated sometimes? Yes. Would it be nice to have him just a little bit more independent so I could get things done? Sometimes I’m tempted to think so.

But this time is short and precious. I have to remember this: I will miss it when I no longer have nighttime nursing rendezvous with my son. I will miss the way he babbles incessantly with no particular words. I will miss the way he bobs his head and body around to keep his balance while sitting by himself. I will miss it when he stops reaching for me to pick him up from his crib. I will be sad when he no longer wants me to come for him, when he’s perfectly capable of doing things on his own. I will miss snuggling with him in my bed when he refuses to sleep on his own.

I don’t want to be desensitized. I don’t want to pass by this time too quickly. Books can say want they want to say (and often they have perfectly conflicting messages), but when it comes down to it, I know my son. I do not always know the best course of action to take to encourage his development, to foster his independence, but I am learning and growing right along with him in these areas. I may make lots of mistakes in the process of raising him, but I don’t want to look back and regret rushing past each stage with him.

Dear J, let me remember to savor this time, to relish each time you call me in the night. Let me remember to give you lots of hugs and kisses, to always remind you of my love. Let me cherish each smile, each dance you do when you’re trying to stay upright, each failing attempt to scoot. Let me always help you along and encourage you to grow, my dear son, but let me never complain about you not being further than you are. I love you, you’re perfect, don’t change. (At least not too soon.)

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dac on May 4, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Thank you for this post. I’m fighting tears after reading it. You show great strength and wisdom.

    Reply

  2. Posted by dac on May 4, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    p.s. i LOVE the photo. :-]

    Reply

  3. Posted by Michelle on May 4, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I tried not to cry. Really I did. This is just too beautiful!

    Reply

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