This morning I was in my gym's locker room when I noticed a woman sitting on a bench, nursing her baby. I asked how old the baby was, and commented that I missed those newborn days, and how much I had enjoyed nursing.
The woman told me her son was 3 months old, and that he was her first child. "I don't want him to get any older," she told me. "I love this stage."
I had to agree with her to a point. It's no secret that I desperately want to hold on to my kids' childhoods as long as I can. I cherish every stage and hate to see them grow up, even though I know it's the natural, healthy progression. That newborn stage was magical, especially with my son, D. I remember wailing to J WHILE STILL IN THE HOSPITAL AFTER GIVING BIRTH that time was going so fast...and at that point D was only a few days old!
But then I had to reflect. When D was 3 months old, he was adorable---but really, there were minimal things he could do. He nursed, pooped, and slept. He wasn't sitting up yet. He wasn't even rolling over. Our big milestone was that he was smiling. So while he was precious, and trust me, I LOVED that stage with him, there wasn't too much interaction. (I'm not even going to discuss A at 3 months old....freshly home from the NICU, she was a medically fragile mess.)
Every month that goes by, my kids become more and more interactive. Take D, for example. At almost 7 years old, he is inquisitive, verbal and fun. We are able to DO things together the way you can't with a 3 month old---play board games, go to movies, have abstract conversations about religion. And my daughter, A....at age 4 1/2 she has come a long way from the helpless infant in the NICU. She helps me grocery shop, cook, and fold laundry. We laugh, play and talk about her day.
Do I miss the infant stage? You bet. There is nothing like being your child's world, of having them depend on you for every need. But would I trade my kids' current stages to go back? No way. As much as I dread them growing older, I AM having more fun with each passing stage. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!
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