My “baby” will not eat any grapes. No grapes. Grapes are a choking hazard. Keep balloons out of the room. Balloons can float over the crib and be a strangulation hazard. Don’t keep cards that play music laying around. The batteries look like candy and are deadly when eaten.
Every time she bumps her head, I find myself looking for lumps and checking her pupils for signs of a concussion.
Even to this day, Libby is 26 months old, I can’t walk past her room without checking on her. I have to go in and place my hand on her stomach and feel the up and down motion of her stomach taking in those sweet, sweet, breaths.
Hearing her little sigh over the baby monitor became my favorite sound in the world. Letting me know she is sleeping deeply and peacefully.
The anxiety of caring for our children never goes away.
Something happened right around three months
Something happened right around the time Libby was three months. It was like an out of body experience. I found myself standing in my room, holding my beautiful, sleeping baby in my arms.
I must have just woken up from a nap. Anytime I woke up from sleep there was always an instant adrenaline rush. I would pop up, crane over into her bassinet and make sure all was well. It always felt like I fell asleep on the job.
As I gathered her to go downstairs, I remember looking down at her beautiful little face and thinking, “I can’t wait until you can roll over.”
That’s when it happened. I left my body as her life began flashing before my eyes.
Because once she rolls over, she may not be able to roll back over. Once she’s crawling, she will be free to put things in her mouth. Once she’s walking she could fall down the stairs. Then one day she’s going to be sixteen and driving!
I will have no control.
All of these things flashed before me.
No matter what age she is there is always going to be something I will worry about.
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The important realization
That exact moment was a moment of clarity. If I keep wishing for the next stage, she is going to be sixteen years old, and I am going to wonder where the time went.
This epiphany made me realize that I need to slow down and appreciate the present stage she’s in. Because no matter what age she is, there is always something I will worry about. I can’t control everything.
I don’t think the worrying will ever stop. I don’t think my laundry list of mantras will go away either. Every time I see a Facebook post, or hear awful news, I will add it to my arsenal of things to be on the lookout for.
But instead of wishing for the next stage, I have learned to appreciate the time I have. The next stage will be here soon enough.
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