To be a mother is to love and lose a thousand children within each one. I have already so fiercely loved a newborn who is lost to me forever. She will never again fit into her tiny, newborn clothes or stare up at my face while she nurses, blinking eyes that seem big enough for the world to fall in. I have already so deeply loved a three month old, working so hard at mastering her hands and expanding her voice. I can never again hear her first giggle, never again watch in awe as she rolls over for the first time. Just as I am catching hold of who she is in a given moment, she has already changed and developed into the next; which, undoubtedly, I love every bit as much as the one that came before it, even as I grieve what and who I’ve lost.
She is six months old now, stronger and more vocal: practicing standing up on her chunky legs with little help and babbling at me throughout the day. I love her so very much I ache with it when I hold her as she sleeps, feed her, and watch her play and yet, I know it is almost time to let go yet again. My sweet Sunshine, who once needed me or her father for absolutely everything, is getting closer and closer to crawling, eating, and standing on her own. I get it now. I understand why people say, “It goes so fast!” a phrase I grew tired of hearing when I was pregnant. They aren’t talking about time. They are trying to give you a hint about what is to come–a thousand loves, a thousand heart-rending losses, all worth it for the incredible joy of watching your child grow . . .