Oh my daughter.
Already, you are eleven weeks old today. Time is flying by so, so quickly, even as I try with all my might to slow it down. I think that's one of the major distinctions between your childhood and your brothers' - with Cole, even somewhat with Chase, I was so excited to see what the next stage would bring, so eager to move on with the "hard" and get to the "good"... well, sometimes I rushed things a little too much. Sometimes I was too busy looking ahead and not enjoying the now.
But with you, darling girl, I have learned my lesson. I've learned on behalf of your brothers, too. I am spending every single moment just soaking up my family, the magic that is childhood, the beauty of watching you discover each new skill. I'm not counting down the days until you sleep through the night, I'm not eagerly awaiting the crawling, walking, talking, eating solids. I'm holding you a little closer and a little longer, not taking the opportunity to put you in your crib so I can do laundry. I'm putting off my lunch for an extra fifteen minutes so I can sing to you on the floor.
Such is the blessing of a third child. When Cole was tiny, I remember being so overwhelmed - so unprepared - so surprised at how much he needed me EVERY SECOND of every day. I'd text my mom, exasperated that he would never let me put him down. That he wanted to cluster nurse for 45 minutes every two hours. I felt like I never got anything done! Taking care of this tiny needy baby was a full time job and then some.
But now, I know better. I know how short the time is that I get to hold a sweet smiling wee babe in my arms - Chase is already spilling and wiggling out of my arms as I hold him, and I can't remember the last time Cole held still long enough for me to sit him on my lap to hold. I can bury my nose in your hair and smell that beautiful newborn smell - not the sun-drenched and sweaty heads of my big boys. I can dance with you in my arms in the kitchen, while I can't remember the last time I even lifted my big six year old boy, all long gangling limbs. I can revel in your gentle stillness, your peacefulness, your ability to hold so still - while rejoicing in my active, loud, boisterous boys who never seem to stop moving, a revolving door outside, tornadoes of energy bustling through the house.
May you stay tiny as long as possible, dearest girl. And may I always remember to enjoy the now.