1. a stone or pillar set up to show the distance in miles to or from a specified place.
2. a significant or important event in history, in the career of a person, etc.; a turning point.
I have a love-hate relationship with baby milestones.
When Levi was just 12 days old he rolled over for the first time. I was completely shocked and would have thought I imagined it had my husband not been right there witnessing it with me.
Two days later he did it again.
Of course after that he didn’t do it for weeks and weeks – until closer to the “normal” time babies usually roll over. He did it very sporadically for a while, but then one day in his 13th week he rolled over 8 times in one day. Then I knew it was legitimate: my baby was a roller.
I also remember the first time he sucked his thumb.
I remember the day he graduated from accidentally swiping at things to purposefully “boxing” at them.
I remember the first time he slept through the night.
I remember when he discovered that his hands actually belonged to him… and when he discovered his funny little toes.
I remember his first actual tears. (That was a tough one.)
I remember his first smile… the first giggle… the first outright laugh.
I remember the first time he cried a very identifiable “angry cry”… and his first little “tantrum”.
I remember when he started loving story-time and when he learned how to fall asleep on his own without being rocked or nursed.
I remember when he started grabbing and pulling things into his mouth… and when he learned he could not only take his paci out of his mouth, but put it back in again.
I remember when he started lifting up his legs and bum in anticipation of his diaper being changed… and his first time sitting “by himself” in the Bumbo.
And then there was teething.
This is Levi’s newest milestone.
After a very fussy week with the worst night time sleep we’ve had in his whopping 4-month-long life… we discovered it – a tiny white something barley sticking out of his top gums. That night we used teething gel and, sure enough, he slept normally again. The evidence was in. The verdict was then official: my little darling was teething.
As exciting as these little milestones all are (and of course there have been a hundred more), they also mean that little bubby is not as little any more.
They mean that my sweet boy is becoming more and more of his own little man, and less and less of that dependent little babe that snuzzled into my neck and fit easily into the length of my forearm.
Watching our children grow and develop is so exciting. We have our proud moments. We have our amazed moments. But we have our sad moments too.
Although I was excited to realize the cause of our little one’s restless, cranky week, I was also disappointed. Even though I already knew it, it drove home the fact that he certainly was no longer a newborn… and even his infancy is fast disappearing before my eyes.
I’m not ready to say good-bye to my little gummer yet.
This week was my fourth time to go through his dresser drawers and pack away tiny little onsies and baby jeans that he’s long outgrown already. I unpacked more of the clothes that, just weeks and months ago, looked so big and seemed so far away.
As stir-crazy as I go sometimes being a stay-at-home-mom, it’s in these moments that I’m reminded that I’m right where I want to be. This time goes so fast and I want to be around as much as possible so that I can burn all of it into my mind and onto my heart.
So yes, we’re now onto teething.
I’m glad my little gummer is doing so well. I’m glad he’s healthy and growing and developing (fast!) into a more “mature” baby.
But I’m also sharply reminded that once a milestone has passed… there’s another one right around the corner… and there’s no turning back. And with each milestone—each turning point—the distance from that sweet birthday gets farther and farther away, and easier and easier to forget.
Dear God, help me to take it all in. Help me to enjoy these precious moments with my little baby boy while I have them. Help me to record and remember. Yes God, help me to take it all in.
p.s. This was the first time that Levi ever boxed – one of my favorite little milestones. As small a feat as this seems now, I remember at the time thinking he was so clever. He was nearly three weeks old and I just happened to have the camera rolling. Perfect timing.