It’s so true: most every moment with kids feels fleeting.
While I’d love to say I’m always in the moment and savoring them, that’s a lie. Sometimes I need to visit memories to remember those special moments … the times when things really changed.
For example, I look back on photos of Maya from just a year ago and see yummy baby rolls. Now she’s grown taller and thinned out — her weight barely changing in a year but she looks so different, it’s astounding.
I listen to videos of her from just a year ago and, while she sure had a lot to say (are we surprised?), the speed, clarity, diction, pronunciation and thought patterns she possess now pale in comparison to her 2-going-on-3 self. It’s mind-boggling.
And the imagination? Oh her imagination … !! Sometimes I just stand outside her door and listen to her “teaching” her babies about colors or numbers or watch her feed her bear while she talks to him — using the same words and phrases I do with Ben. (“Here, baby, let Mommy put your diaper on. No, no, no! (teasing voice) Let mommy do it!”) It’s beyond precious.
Ben. My sweet baby boy is ten months old and standing and scooting in 360s and doing his one-legged crawl to get around … though only a few months ago he was a teensy blob that just required love and snuggles to be happy and could be entertained by a rattle.
As an infant, he only had needs: to be fed, changed, cuddled and loved. Now in addition to those needs, he has actual desires — be it his sister’s Cheerios, my phone, Luis’s glasses, the Legos strewn across the playroom floor. He wants things and will find any conceivable way to get to said thing.
Both of them amaze me on their own, but what I’m loving most of all right now is watching them grow together. That moment of change in their relationship happened recently.
Though they got off to a rocky start with Maya not showing a ton of interest in this foreign being that invaded our home and life … she quickly became Mommy’s Little Helper and now that Ben has been declared unequivocally “fun,” they are besties.
Their love for each other has seemed to blossom overnight. Sure, she gets mad at him for taking her toys (and vice versa) and usual sibling jealousy … but aside from that, they cannot get enough of each other right now.
He lights up when she walks in the room and searches for her when she is gone. They egg each other on and have laugh parties at the dinner table and screech parties in the car (much to my chagrin sometimes as I suffer from a pounding headache!). They “play” together and she tries to teach him how to do things. “I’ll show Benny how to throw this ball!” “I’ll show him how we read this book.”
And now … he reaches for her, and he “hugs” her.
The first time I saw it was the other night at bed time. She always gives him a hug goodnight, but he usually head-butts her and dissolves into giggles.
But that night, in the same dimly-lit bedroom they’ve said goodnight in for the past 10 months, he lifted his chubby little arms and reached for her, pulling her to him.
“He hugged me, Mommy!” she exclaimed.
I couldn’t help but burst into [happy] tears. With Luis working late, there was no one else home to share my pride and joy with so I felt a little silly crying solo … but it was such a precious moment.
What’s most awesome is that it was a precious moment I didn’t capture in a photo or video but will need to remember in the recesses of my mind as a defining moment in their fleeting childhoods.
“He loves me so much. I love him so much, too,” she said, grinning ear to ear. I smiled back. “He most definitely does. He is so lucky to have you as his big sister.”
She considered this, nodded, and then said, “Do it again, Benny!”
He obliged one more time … and then signed off the night with a head-butt.
Well, at least we had our moment … it was nice while it lasted.