Then You Were My Baby, Now You Are My Child

The moment I found out I was pregnant with Peyton, I knew she was going to be extremely special to us. She was unexpected and we were kind of terrified thinking we’d be parents only a year and a half into our marriage, but amidst all of our anxiety and fear of the unknown, how we loved her so.

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Throughout my pregnancy we received so many wonderful books from friends and family and even though we had more than we can count, we still visited Barnes & Noble a couple of times to pick out some that would be from us. As I was browsing, I stumbled upon a book called Someday by Alison McGhee. The illustration of a mom holding up a baby caught my eye and I decided to read it. After flipping through pages about a child growing up and all of the things her mother hopes she experiences, tears welled up in my eyes and I knew we had to get it for our baby.

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While waiting for her arrival, I read it aloud several times, hoping she’d hear and someday recognize the book outside of my womb, and after she was born, it was my go-to book to read to her. Every time, without fail, I’d always end the book in tears because the simple, yet beautiful words always got me thinking about the depths of motherhood and how quickly time flies by.

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Now that she’s three, I’ve probably read it to her a couple hundred times and last night, I suggested we read it before bed. She happily agreed and we cuddled up in her bed together. This time, I read through without shedding a tear because I was so concentrated on her focus to the pages and could just imagine her little mind at work memorizing words and images. I couldn’t help but study how she was taking it all in and just how big she looked lying next to me. And then, like every night, it was her turn to “read” the book and as she flipped through the pages, reciting a few of the words she remembered from each page in her squeaky high-pitched voice. It was in that moment my eyes welled up, but this time it wasn’t because of the words, it was because I was  seeing what was written in the book right before my eyes. Just yesterday, she was baby and now she’s my child and she’s now reading the words I held close to my heart before I had ever even touched her little hands or heard her sweet laugh.

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Seeing your child grow has to be the most majestic yet heartbreaking part of motherhood. While we get to stand by their side as they experience new adventures and feelings, we also have to face the reality of letting them go and do things on their own. There’s nothing more bittersweet.

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While time passes quickly and it’s easy to look back and wonder, “did I enjoy it enough?”, it’s brings me joy knowing that I get to experience her story here and now, and that I’ve been blessed to be able to look back and observe how much she’s grown. I’m going to try my best to find little moments where I can just observe her in the present moment and cherish my memories of yesterdays with her. May we all find ways to enjoy each stage and season our child walks through in this life, whether it be past, present or future. Love to all of you!

Photos by Julia Maruyama Photography

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2 thoughts on “Then You Were My Baby, Now You Are My Child

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