While Tom was putting Abby to bed this evening, I pulled out the camera and started snapping pictures of Michael, looking so handsome in a stylish track suit. I'll admit it, my initial intent was to get a few cute ones so I'd have something to post, even if I couldn't bring myself to come up with something to actually say. I'm on day number two of very little sleep (I didn't even attempt it until close to 4 am, and didn't achieve any success until after 7 am, which allowed me perhaps three hours altogether), and have been trying to hold myself together, sans nap, for as long as possible in a desperate attempt to get back on some kind of normal schedule. Much as I hate to do it, I think I'll have to enlist the aid of some Benadryl, and hope that it kicks in before my agonizingly restless legs start their nightly dance.
Michael wasn't particularly cooperative, and the camera was even less so, but I got a few decent photos all the same. As I sorted through them to choose and edit a selection for the blog I got caught up in studying his precious baby features, and was suddenly reminded of how very close we are now to leaving his very first year behind. Nine more days, to be exact.
Where ever did the time go?
Was it really almost a year ago, the day that I first held his slimy, squirmy body against me, less than half the size then that he is now?
A year ago that he was so intimately dependent upon me that his tiny head needed the constant support of my hands?
A year ago that his own arms, and indeed, the very world, were a mystery to him? Those same arms that he now swings about and stretches forth with confidence to reach, grab, crawl, touch, explore?
A year ago that his brand-new eyes could barely stay uncrossed, let alone spot me from across a room?
Now, here he stands, so very changed, on the precipice of greater changes, still. In no time he will be taking his first steps, tottering forth with courage greater than I can imagine, on his way to running wild and free in the image of his older sister, still so young, and yet come so far, herself.
And on this same day, in this same moment, I hold fast to the images that, for now, I can behold only on a tiny grayscale screen: a miniscule head, spine, leg, arm. A third baby, like my other two, but in miniature, come so very far on his or her own journey, with so far yet to go. Tucked safely in the comfort of my womb, head just below the right side of my rib cage, little bum nudged in the space above my left hip. Content now to practice the breaststroke in his/her private "pool" as sleep eludes me through the night.
One year from now, will I feel this same conflict again? This same joyous pain? The constant, ever-present change is beautiful; necessary, yet so strange and overwhelming to contemplate. I cannot seem to process it, and yet I must accept that it is.
In nine short days, he will be one year old.
And my heart will break just a little bit, even as I wait, with baited breath, to see just what the future has in store.