It seems like it couldn’t possibly be that long ago that Luca joined our lives. He was so small back then, but not so small all the same. Born at 9lbs 6oz, he was anything but small. The labor seemed all to fast at four and a half hours from first contraction to baby, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that time seems to be passing us by so fast as well.
As each day passes, I notice my little man growing up more and more. It seems like he’s just taking off, unwilling to wait for change. He’s been rolling over for a couple of weeks now, starting before he was even two months old. It seems like his birth was just the start. He’s hit the ground running and can’t possibly stop and wait for us to catch up with his busy schedule. He’s got big plans and wants to get there fast, wherever there is.
When he was a tiny little baby he was the most precious thing ever. He would finish nursing, then he’d wriggle himself around so his hand was under his cheek and his head was resting on my breast. We used to joke that Sander has Blinket and Minket that he can’t sleep without. Luca had the mama boob pillow. As he’s gotten older he’s realized that the boob doesn’t make such a great pillow, mostly because it leaks. Instead he’s taken to holding onto it all night as though it were a teddy bear. He used to grumble and growl about everything, even in his sleep. There was never a moment in the day where he was quiet. Now he gets so quiet and still during naps that it scares me. I’m so used to his noisy little ways that I worry something’s happened to him.
I know babies grow up so fast and time flies, but I just wish I could hold on to him and keep him small for just a little longer. I’m going to miss these moments where he’s so small, soft, and sweet. It won’t be long before he’s up and on the move, something that will be it’s own wonderful adventure. That’s a different space, a different aspect of it all, and I want to hold onto these moments as long as I can. They fly by far too quickly.
This whole process of my smallest growing up is even harder on me than it was with the other ones because he may just be my last. I promised myself I would stop having children at 35 because of the health risks involved, especially in my family. I’m 31 now, so that leaves just under four years to do whatever it is I’m going to do, but Oz doesn’t want anymore. He feels our family is full to bursting already and can’t imagine what we would do with one more. That fills me with a sadness because I enjoy my children too much and I’m longing for that one birth experience that is exactly what I want it to be.
Of course, as I write of my sadness I look at my little Luca as he waves his arms around and tries to get his sister’s attention and think that it’s not because he’s not good enough, or that his birth wasn’t beautiful. It’s because I want so much for my children, to grow up in a large family, like I didn’t have. I want them to enjoy all the benefits that having siblings can be. I want their children to be surrounded by aunts and uncles, like I was. Never have I seen a closer lot than my kids, and I just don’t feel that my little bear is supposed to be the baby of the bunch. Or maybe I just don’t want him to be the baby of the bunch because he’s growing up all too fast.
Of course, the changes are subtle. It’s not like I wake up and he’s all new. It’s just the way time flies. It seems like he’s always been like this. It’s hard to remember back to a day when he was different, when he wasn’t rolling over and trying so hard to get his siblings’ attention. It seems like he’s always been holding his head up so strong. His smiles brighten up everyone’s day and his new-found goofy little laugh makes everyone smile and laugh. Even the colicky moments have finally passed and we’re on to a new normal where his former colic and gassiness seem like far away nightmares. Instead we’re met with adorable expressions, even cuter noises than the last, and gobs of personality.
Then again, some of those early days we really don’t want to remember. We were staying with Oz’s dad and sister for a while and I’m sure Luca could tell he wasn’t wanted there. As a result of that stay Oz and I nearly split up and I felt depressed and under-appreciated all the time. I felt like a child in the house, being expected to do what I was told. Our parenting style became incredibly authoritarian and our homeschooling style became even worse. It ended with daily fights with my daughter where both of us would end up angry and screaming at each other. The whole time Corde was being told about how incredibly wonderful school was and how she would get so many new opportunities. It felt like they were trying to sabotage our family, and I think Luca could feel that too. He cried all the time, was hungry all the time, and I couldn’t put him down to do anything. He refused to be comfortable in any kind of carrier. All he ever wanted was to be held in my lap and comforted. Who could blame him? I felt very much the same way, only I was an adult and had to deal with it. It wasn’t a fun situation for any of us.
Then we moved and everything seemed to get better. Luca’s colic seemed to disappear almost instantly. He stopped being so fussy and cranky to the point where he wanted to be put down all the time. He still didn’t like being worn in a sling or other carrier for quite a while, but he was happy to be put down on his belly where he could interact with his brothers and sister. He didn’t really want to be held so much and would get fussy if I held him for too long. He’d rather spend time with the other kids. He’s finally grown into the baby wearing thing and likes to be taken along on walks, though he’s not such a fan in the house. He cuddles with Oz while he plays video games, almost as though he’s watching Daddy play. He especially likes to sleep curled up next to me all night and somehow manages to sleep through the night, or as much as any baby his age can be expected to. He doesn’t sleep nearly as well if we have him out of the bed for any reason.
When people ask me how old he is, I honestly can’t remember half the time. Is it 6 weeks? 7? 8? I can’t think of his age because it’s all flown so quickly. Instead I default to an approximation. Two days after he turned a month old he was “a month and a half”. Somewhere just past a month and a half he started being “2 months”. I have to admit, my gut instinct tells me I should just shrug at people and say, “I don’t know. He ran away the day he was born and hasn’t bothered with knowing his age since!” Of course, that’s a tribute to Peter Pan there, the story my kids and I have been reading. That’s kind of how I feel. His age doesn’t matter. All that matters is he’s a happy kid, that all my kids are happy. Age is just a number, right?
It seems like it won’t be long before he’s sitting, crawling, walking, and talking up a storm. Babies just grow up to fast. I’m going to miss these times when he’s small, even though I love getting to know him more and more each day and watching him grow into such a unique individual. A part of me can’t wait to hear what his first words will be, to watch him take his first steps, and to wonder what he’ll aspire to do with his life. I want to see the beautiful person he’ll grow up to be, but for now, let me savor these moments when he’s so very small and sweet. He won’t be like this forever. I’d best enjoy it while it lasts.