I have a problem. I want my baby to remain tiny, while I'm simultaneously doing everything I can to overcome his poor initial weight gain. Today he weighed 8 pounds and 14 ounces which is awesome! Up a whopping 12 ounces in 12 days! But also, sad. His newborn-sized clothes are getting pretty snug, as are his newborn diapers. His Shar Pei-esque elbows and knees are filling out and he even has the tiniest of rolls on his legs and arms. He is precious and wonderful and I am filled with pride and also an inordinate amount of sorrow as he grows.
Like, it's an actual problem. I shouldn't be this sad.
I am accustomed to working with babies in their first 28 days of life. Plenty of NICU babies stay longer than that, but since they were so early and/or so sick, most of them still leave acting like a newborn. I was nervous that I would like my baby less as he got older and bigger. Thankfully, that has not been the case, and it's so fun to watch his coordination develop and see recognition in his eyes. (Do you ever think... how weird would it be to not be able to just reach out and grab something? To have your arms and legs move around but not have control over them? So crazy! Babies have to learn so much.)
The passage of time is something that's always been hard for me to deal with for some reason, and what better than babies as an example of an accelerated version of time passing?! People tell me, "it goes too fast!" "You'll blink and he'll be this age (gesturing to whatever sized toddler they're walking around with)." And my least favorite, "Enjoy every moment before it's gone!"
Rather than helping me enjoy this time, these comments give rise to anxiety and nameless fears of missing out as time passes me by. I still haven't been able to address the root of this issue, but when I brought it up to a friend, she had such wise words:
"The truth is, we think that either 'being in the moment' and 'staying present' or the opposite, 'if it could only be like ___ in the next stage,' will satisfy us. And the truth is, we're all insatiable. We all want more of whatever we don't have. It's an interesting thing in motherhood to rest in Christ and be grateful for whatever God has handed us this day. All our expectations fly out the window. Otherwise we're left disappointed and wanting."
She is a wise, wise friend.
We've sung this song a few times at church, and the refrain "Jesus is better" keeps running through my head every time I find myself mourning something silly. Jesus is better than squishy cheeks and sleepy newborns and I simply have to believe that.
If you need me, I'll be bunkered in, listening to this song on repeat while I snuggle my baby.