• Try Before They Die: The Fleetingness of Babyhood after the Unendingness

    Before you wonder what kind of morbid mantra is "try before you die" in connection with the swiftness in which babies grow up, let me just explain :) I use the Offline app to tell me about event and recreational outdoors ideas in the area. Love it. We've found so many gems and enjoyed a ton of unexpected Saturday excursions from its recommendations. This past week's Offline newsletter came with the subject header "Try Before They Die! The Neuse River Sunflower Fields." And I uttered a word of thanks to Kelsey at Offline, whoever you are, for reminding me not to miss out.

    But over the last week I found I couldn't get that phrase out of my head. "Try Before They Die." So many things that were anticipatory events far away on the horizon of the future this summer have already come and gone. I remember planning Bub's first beach trip with my lovely cousin and her family earlier this year and imagining what it would be like to take a 7-month-old on his first overnight trip away from home. It was a learning process; for example, don't forget to pack the overnight diapers or you'll spend twice as much for them out at the beach. But that's another story for another time. The trip came and went along with Bub's 7-month-old status 2 months ago already. 

    And another summer milestone: every year Zak and I make a tradition out of going berry picking before the Fourth of July so that Zak can make his award winning berry chocolate pie to celebrate our Independence from the Brits. Funny, I never actually stopped to think of it this way; and it's ironic that my ultimate dream is to retire to a small cottage on the Welsh coast and pick berries every summer morning. But anyway, with all the busy-ness and unbreakable routine that comes with caring for a little guy, we didn't make it out to go berry picking until after the Fourth of July and by then most of the berries were gone.

    Last year Zak and I discovered the sunflower fields of Raleigh during mid-bloom. Bubs was well on his way by then and Zak captured a picture of "us" and captioned it, "My only sunshine with my son." Swoon, ladies, right? I've got myself a winner!


    Anyway, we thought it would be fun to return to the sunflower fields this year with Bubster in tow to snap some pictures, but again, how did it turn into mid-July already?! So, that's where this blog post makes it's full circle.  I would have forgotten completely about the sunflowers had the kind peeps at Offline not reminded me that this weekend would probably be the last opportunity to see them before they died away.

    This all makes me wonder when the paradigm of time's movement changed over the last few months.  I recall that in the first couple of months of Bub's life, I thought time was now and forever going to be a never-ending round of crying, feeding, diaper changing, trying to sleep, not sleeping, going out for a walk like a zombie, lather, rinse, repeat.  When someone said to me on Bub's 1-month birthday, "Already?! I feel like the time has gone by so fast." I thought, "I'm sure it does feel that way...FOR YOU."  Haha.  For everyone who said, "Enjoy this time because it goes so fast," I secretly thought to myself, "Yeah, well, it's not going fast enough!" 

    I guess it was somewhere around the 6- or 7-month mark, though (which probably coincides with Bub finally sleeping through the night, haha) the movement of time changed in an instant. Days started to spin on in rapid succession and now every time I put Bubs to bed for the night, I feel the truth of that Charlie Hope song that keeps haunting me on his Pandora Channel "The Next Time I See You (You'll Have Changed)" (if you're ready for a real tear-jerker that will send you into panic mode about your baby growing up too fast, go ahead, have a listen :) Today Bubs is 9 months old.  What do I want to do with 9-month-old Bubs? I've got 4 short weeks to do whatever it is that will be age appropriate with a 9-month-old and then it's on to the next thing! A son of our dear friend just turned one year old a couple of weeks ago and our friend said she cried the entire morning of his first birthday. If you'd asked me when Bubs was 8 weeks old whether I'd be crying on his one-year birthday, I would have asked if you meant to ask if I'd still be crying from sleep deprivation. But now, the tides have turned. I can definitely envision myself getting choked up doing his last "monthly" birthday picture and realizing at that point I officially have a toddler on my hands.

    The moral of the story for all you new moms out there who aren't too sure you're ever going to find your rhythm and your stride in this crazy challenging life calling, it'll come.  If it came for me, it'll come for you. At that point your biggest worries outside of the health and safety of your child will be "Did I get enough of my baby today? Did we do all the things we shoulda/coulda/wanted/needed to do?" The answer will probably always be no since the moments charge on like the fast train to Memphis. But just know that if you've made it through the day, you're doing your best and that's all that matters; and if you do get a chance each day to stop in the moment and think, "Ok I like this. I'm going to just live here for a second without having to document this for Facebook or Pinterest," then you've just enjoyed the icing on the cake.

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