Every parent will tell you when you first have a baby to cherish every moment, because it goes by so quickly. You’ll hear it so many times that you’ll get sick of hearing about it, because you get it already.
Except I don’t think I actually did get it. I do now, or I’m starting to, but I still don’t want to tell new parents what they’ve been told a hundred times already, even if it’s true. It does go by quickly – far more quickly than you realize, until you look at the little person who used to be a baby, and notice that she’s suddenly outgrown those jeans that used to be unimaginably large, and that she’s got tastes and feelings about everything she sees and does, and is entirely willing to tell you all about it when she used to just take it all in without voicing an opinion at all.
It’s the becoming that really intrigues me when I watch Lyra, the similarities with either me or her father, and the differences. She has always been her own person, and it would be hopeless to try and form her into something she isn’t. She likes what she likes, and hates what she hates, and has full-blown emotions that she doesn’t know how to handle yet. We’re all discovering who she is along with her, and it’s probably the most interesting journey I’ve ever been on.
I don’t remember becoming who I was as a child. I remember when I became who I was as an adult – once I was finished school and off in the real world, I spent a long time trying to figure that out. I’d love it if she had a sense of that sooner than I did, and I’ll do my best to help her figure that out, but ultimately she will be who she is and will keep becoming herself forever.
Just like I am.
Lyra is almost three now and is becoming a feisty, independent, imaginative, mischievous imp. Embedded in that, though, she still considers most things very seriously before she acts, and is generous and empathetic for a 2.5-year-old.
I’m her mother; I’m bound to think the world of her, so of course I believe that she’s pretty much awesome. Every day I get to spend with her, discovering the world’s simplest complexities, feels like the best day yet, just like every age she reaches feels like the best age she’s ever been.
I don’t understand how it can be like this, but watching her become a person just keeps getting better and better. I can’t imagine it being better than it is now; but I felt the same way six months ago, a year ago, two years ago, and it kept getting better.
Soon enough she will turn three, and I’ll marvel at how fast the time has gone by since the sunny summer morning Adam and I walked to the hospital for her birth day. Newborn became baby became toddler became pre-schooler, and every second of it is full of wonder – for her and for me. It can’t possibly get any better.
And every time I say it can’t possibly get any better, it does.