I changed weeks on Saturdays. You know, during my pregnancy. Every Saturday was another week my belly grew, another week my little app had a new set of cute little fetus facts and fruit size references - and I would force myself not to read ahead even though I was d y i n g to jump just one more week, or five. I was like an impatient child too excited to wait for the next Christmas advent calendar door to be opened. I was consumed and elated, overwhelmed with anticipation. So eager, so ready to know what was next.
I might have turned 27 weeks on Saturday but by Sunday I was "almost 28"
I always rounded up.
It was like that every week. I couldn't wait for Saturday. My calendar held scribbled numbers for every day, Taylor’s office desk counted down the days with little pink blocks that were painted "__ days until we're parents"
Every app, I had it. Every day, my mind thought it.
My head was always racing one step ahead of itself. And I was always, always rounding up.
And now, I mean really, I can't say I blame her, that sweet little naive mom-to-be that I was. I couldn't wait to have that baby in my arms that I never stopped to think for one second I might miss her growing inside me. Those days when folding laundry were easy, and going to bed at 7 pm after a *nightly* [I’m lucky for weekly now let's be real] shower was routine.
Pregnancy, the first time around, is so complex that it just simply wouldn't be the same if we knew what we were expecting. [captain obvious cliche]
But seriously. I enjoyed every second of my pregnancy. I really did.
But I didn't know about time. Not yet. Not in the same way. Not like I do now.
Suddenly 2.5 weeks before the date I'd concreted into her arrival, I was awoken by contractions and four hours later - holding my daughter.I had left my old world and entered a new one. The same I will never be.
Motherhood is a race against time. Backwards and forwards.
I raced ahead of it my whole pregnancy. Almost my whole life. Always rounding up, assuming the next stage was sure to be better than the one I was in.
"I'm almost tall enough. I'm almost 16. I've ALMOST graduated."
And now. I'm racing against it.
Lately when I get asked how old she is I find myself choking up, hesitating - stumbling over my own words as if she's not even mine - like I don't know, down to the minute - how old she is.
Because, let's be honest, we all know we adjust our answer based on its questioner. The sweet old man at the checkout doesn't really care to know her age in months [a simple 'one' would do] but when the mom next to me on the park bench asked as our girls shared a spot in the sand box - telling her "19 months on Tuesday" wasn't specific enough.
Funny - but we'd all be a bunch of liars to act like we didn't care about exactly how old our babies are.
Literally. e x a c t l y. Because every day - every day older is another minute past.
I can actually still feel what it felt like to tell the lady at the bookstore that she was 4 days old. And the server at the cafe 7 weeks. And the maid at the hotel on vacation when she was 6 (and a half) months old.
I can still hear it. I remember it vividly.
Taylor and I would always exchange a pause each time a sweet little grandma asked - we'd give each other the "you can say it this time" eyes , eager to have our turn to answer. Taylor always rounded up, you know - I think for simplicity. But me, I'm a rounder downer. And I think secretly, all moms are.
There are times yes, that I am so eager to jump into each new phase with Sawyer the same way I was eager to change weeks in my pregnancy that I do forget about time’s pace. But I'd be lying if sometimes it didn't choke me up a little, feel a lot bit painful, when I do consciously allow myself to be aware of how fast this whole thing is going.
It feels impossible that somehow I've gone from answering her age in weeks to finishing what feels like the same sentence with "she'll be two in July." I know that will be the same the day she graduates, or gets married. It will be the same with all of our babies.
I won't pretend that I don't have days that exhaust me so deep and ware me so thin that I don't have fleeting thoughts of "I can't wait for this phase to pass."
But I know that even in those yucky moments of tantrums and refusals and disobedience and no such thing as sleep or showers or warm food- I know I will long for them one day. I even know I will cry for them.
So, I know it sounds silly, ridiculous even - but she'll be 18 months old until the very day she turns 19 months. It was the same from 4 to 5 months. It will be the same way when shes 4 or 5 years. She was never "almost ___ or nearly ___" which I know would have been simpler to say.But I can't round up when it comes to her. When it comes to time - after her I couldn't round up.
The best just isn't next, I mean. I know it is. It's that too. But the now is so freaking good as well. I've gotta stop stepping over time, speeding through for a first spot in line at the next phase. Because - the next phase is always just around the corner. And tomorrow, she can be another day older tomorrow.