While sorting through pictures this evening in a vain attempt to organize the first year of Lincoln's life (before he turns two in a few months), I came across a few from his newborn photo shoot.
I'm pretty sure I ask this every other day, but seriously ... where is my baby?!!
It's happening: my memory of the early days have drowned a painful death in the sea of various minor details like what Lincoln will eat for lunch and whether the laundry beside the dresser is clean or dirty.
But every now and then I stop and really look at him, mostly when he is asleep in my arms with his mouth half open and arms snuggling me close, and I marvel at the fact that his body now stretches all the way across mine and at how his face has changed. And sometimes, when he strings together a new sentence, or repeats something he picked up some place other than home, or remembers the lyrics to a new song, it stops me dead in my tracks and I wreck my brain to remember whose kid he is and how it is that he's growing up so fast.
It's the strangest of things - my mind recalls all the tiring, thankless work that went into those early days of nursing nonstop and getting little to no rest - and strangely, I now long for them.
One day not long from now, I know I will long for these moments too. I try to bottle them so I can hold onto them forever. Like yesterday, when I asked Lincoln if he wanted to read a book, and he broke out into song proudly:
"I wuuuub you fah-EEEEEEEVER! I wikeee you fah-ALWAYS! As long as I'm wiv-ing, my bay bee you'll beeeeeeeeee!"
And of course in that moment, my heart stopped - heck, the world stopped - and I gently reminded him, "That's right, Lincoln. No matter how old you get, or how big, or how tall, or how smart, or how important, or how known, as long as I'm living, you'll always be mommy's baby."