baby bear: at five months

October 17th, 2014

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Baby Bear,

The strangest thing happened this month. 

No, life didn’t calm down.  You went straight from your four-month sleep regression into back-to-back colds, ear infections, and then a stomach bug.  In the last few weeks, you have been sick more days than you have been healthy. 

Which meant: less sleep, more tears, and lots of hand-wringing for mom.  When something is bothering you, nothing is more important to me than to fix it, any way I can.

But, you know what? 

Sometimes I can’t.

Sometimes you have to do it on your own.  Obviously, I’ll do anything I can to help — whether it’s rocking you to sleep, taking you to the doctor, or just making sure you’re comfortable. 

But fighting off that cold?  Or learning that new skill, the one that’s keeping you up at night because your little brain has almost mastered it?

Those things, you have to do on your own.

And no matter how much I want to help… there are times when I can’t.  And I need to remember that’s not the end of the world.

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See, in the midst of this crazy month, I had a realization. 

For the last five months, I’ve been waiting for that moment in the future when things would get easier.  And each time something gets in the way, I get frustrated: “He’d be sleeping through the night if only he didn’t have a cold” or “he’d be happy during the day if only we hadn’t gone straight into teething.”

And you know what?  I’ve spent too much time waiting for that moment in the future when everything would be perfect.  When you’d be smiling and perfectly healthy and I’d have nothing to worry about.

When that happens, I figured, then I could just relax.

But you know what?

In being so focused on the future, I’ve been letting myself lose track of all the wonderful moments that I get to see every single day

Even when you’re sick.  Even when you’re up all night.

It makes me a little sad.  Especially in those frantic newborn days, now I see so clearly: I worried too much.  I was so scared of doing something wrong, of not knowing what I was doing, I made myself miserable trying to figure out how to do everything right.  I googled everything for hours instead of just trusting my instincts and doing my best. 

I didn’t spend enough time just taking in the moments, enjoying them.  They went by as quickly as everyone says, and I wish I’d cherished them just a little bit more. 

But, you know what?  You’re only five months old.  There’s a lot of time left to enjoy those little moments, even the not-perfect ones. 

And even with my nervousness, my first-time-mom jitters, and all the things that I’ve worried about: these last few months have been lovely.  They’ve been amazing.  Sure, we’ve had a day here and there with tears from you and me both, but we’ve also read stories, gone for walks, snuggled in bed, played with the dogs, and smiled and laughed. 

We’ve had a blast, you and me (and dad). 

Five months.  It went by in a flash.  And I know month six will be our best yet.

With all my love,

Your mom.

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Tags: baby

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