Monday, October 31, 2005

The snowball in my pocket

One of my favorite books for kids is The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, and I’m thinking today of the part of the story where Peter, the main character, goes to check on a snowball that’s he’s put in his pocket, only to find that it has melted. I feel like this with D’s babyhood. At first, it seemed like it was dripping away in tiny increments: he smiled for the first time, and we had a chance to savor this whole smiling thing, roll it around on our tongues like really good chocolate. Then he could hold his head up by himself, and we had a few weeks to get used to this trick before he hit another milestone. But since he started being able to push himself to sitting, the drip-drip-drip of each new development has become more of a deluge.

Since last Sunday, he has:
  1. Had FOUR teeth break through

  2. Mastered how to pull himself to standing

  3. Learned to walk with support by holding our hands

  4. Figured out how to crawl over obstacles instead of dragging them around with him (Dude, it’s the Elton John CD I just saw in the living room! How did this get here?)

  5. Begun to hate being fed “baby” food. He insists he’s ready for big-boy food like carrot and pear pieces, bits of meat and potatoes, sushi, caramel apples, nachos, etc.
Seeing all of this happen so fast takes my breath away. I want to push the slo-mo button before he’s no longer a baby. It makes me wish I had done more to sink into his babyhood and enjoy it instead of wasting time with baseless fretting. I look at this magical little boy and watch as every day he discovers something new, and I feel like Peter, clutching at this rapidly disintegrating snowball, wondering how long I have until I’m just standing around with a wet, empty pocket.

But I guess at that point, I’ll be chasing around a bona-fide toddler and probably won’t have much time to be worrying about pockets, wet or otherwise.

I hope I’ll be too busy helping my boy enjoy life, packed with all the snowballs and Ezra Jack Keats books he can get.