This week the Baby has been practicing standing all on his own. The first steps towards walking. With him doing that I was catapulted back to a time when the Big One was learning to walk, and with it, hazy memories of the baby years gone by. Steps taken to reach for the wooden spoon. Sat in a coffee shop on a sunny December day as he practiced walking those 6 steps between myself and the husband. Looking at him now, a rambunctious 3 year old running and jumping.
And I’m sad.
Don’t get me wrong, with both of my boys reaching the next milestone is exciting, from rolling to crawling to walking. From Baby babble to little people conversations. From gummy smiles to toothy grins. Each stage has it’s own rewards, it’s own hardships. Each stage is fulfilling and mind numbing in equal measure. What I didn’t expect was the haziness.The haziness of days gone by, memories of the baby years that I thought would be crystal clear forever fading round the edges. Still there, but in the back of my mind. Hidden in the recesses. Sepia tinted rather than technicolour.
Each stage the Baby reaches I remember when the Big One was doing the same. The little things. The fact that he commando crawled rather than “proper” crawled. Chubby little fingers reaching up and grasping at furniture helping to stand. The look what I can do grins. But until the Baby got there those little memories were locked away. Hidden in the depths of my mind.
Now the Baby is the one doing those things. Moving at the speed of light away from his baby days and heading straight towards toddlerdom.
Now my hazy memories include the heady heights of two sets of newborn days, the euphoria of finally holding my boys, stroking downy soft hair. Tracing their features with my fingers, feeling the softness of their chubby cheeks. The haze of newborn sleep deprivation. The inability to sleep when the baby sleeps because there was so much to wonder at. So much to drink in. So much to remember, to feel, to love.The hazy memories of first smiles, the was that a smile or wind smile. The actual first smile. The first turn of the head. The first giggle. The first babble.
The hazy memories of a baby on the move. That first startled roll. The glint in the eye as they realise they can get to things they couldn’t before. Those chubby, grabbing fingers. The heart in your mouth moments as you want to wrap them in cotton wool but realise that you can’t.
The hazy memories of the escapades they get up to….. As they navigate stairs for the first time, the swing at the park, head back full blown laughing. The cheeky look as they climb on the table to get a reaction. The way they streak away from you mid-nappy change. Bare bum glinting as you chase with a nappy in hand.Thousands of smiles, of giggles. Rivers of tears, yours and theirs. Hazy memories, floating round together. A forgotten story that you used to read. A melody that you just can’t remember, yet it’s one you thought you’d never forget, one that haunted your sleep, the only thing that calmed your baby down.
Hazy memories, of my beautiful second baby, mingling with the hazy memories of my first. Moments of clear clarity when the Baby reminds me of days gone by with the Big One. The Baby following in the shadow of the Big One, always.
No one following the Baby. Hazy memories staying hazy, until I root around to find them.
No more newborn days, to jog those hazy memories, the way he slept so peacefully in my arms. Lying on my chest, tiny little mewls, little mouths forming that perfect O as they yawn.No more baby days, to remember the startled roll. To remember the excited clapping. To remember that peachy bum running away from me.
The toddler days are ahead of us, building up new memories to be stored in my memory bank. Pushing those memories of baby days further back, still there just a little hazier than before. My Baby is still a baby but it’s speeding by.
Still there to be cherished. Still there to be examined.
I just need to dig a little deeper. Jog a memory with a photo, with a Facebook status, with a blog post.
To marvel at what has been and to wonder at what is coming.
Sepia memories. Hazy memories of the baby years. The technicolour of today. The promise of the future.
All of it cherished.