The march forward through time is bitter sweet and undeniable as I stare at the nodding off child sprawled across the lap he’s practically outgrown (mine). My eyes are open and the signs of change are everywhere, both eminent and plentiful. I try to imagine my giant baby fitting in my stomach like he once did but it’s impossible. He’s 1 now, those days are over.
I don’t want to hold Dylan back, or keep him from reaching new heights and experiences in toddlerhood. I want him to explore, learn, grow, achieve, and flourish! But still, I find myself wanting to hold onto something (anything) that will make me feel like I have a grip and that time isn’t just slipping away. So I move him from my lap to my bed and swaddle him the same way I always have before carrying him to his crib where he will wake up a day older.
But the “tomorrows” pass quickly and pile into “remember when’s.” Like remember when Dylan only knew how to say three words? Remember when Dylan pointed outside and said “trees!” And before we could celebrate his fourth word he said “two!” and “shoe!” and “please!” then shook his head for “yes”? One day those moments will be fuzzy and certainties will be replaced with “I think,” as the storage capacity that is our memory will prove to have limits and fail to record it all.
And though this journey I am on is ever-changing, it is only the beginning. There will be so many more times I compare last year to this year and so on. It will be tiring, scary, and constant. But even at its most dubious and defeating it will perfect. The relationship between Dylan and I stretches far past milestones, time, and memories. It is infinite; it is unbreakable, and something that cannot be outgrown, even if my lap can be. So as I struggle to accept that pregnancy became a newborn that became a baby that became a toddler, who will one day become a boy that becomes a man, I find peace in knowing that I will forever be “Mom.”