When Bean came along, I didn’t know what to expect. Every day was another chance for him to do whatever it was he was gonna do, and I just went with the flow. I didn’t know a thing, beyond what the internet and friends passed along, which is not the same as information you’ve experienced for yourself, so mostly I just let it happen.
And he grew. It was busy. I didn’t write much of it down, despite having a blog, despite loving to write, despite processing various moments in a bloggerly kind of way in my head but never quite managing to get it down on the “page.” Yes, he grew. I pray I keep my memories as long as possible. I know I’m already losing some. I didn’t know...
This time, the expectations are getting in the way. Because now I “know” something about babies, which is to say, I know about one baby fairly intimately, and about his various baby friends less intimately (but now I’ve been paying attention, while wishing I had been doing so while my siblings and friends were having babies before I did, so I could have learned a thing or two going in, but it’s too late now!)
So my little brain does its little science-brain thing, and makes comparisons. It tells me what I can “expect.” So my little brain says things like, “I can’t wait until she’s three months old, and we’re only doing 6 or 7 feedings a day” or “I can’t wait until she’s sitting and more interactive with Bean” or “I can’t wait until...” Wait a second, what?
I “can’t” wait?
No no, that’s not right. Wait a second, she’s already a month old? I “can’t” wait?! Just a minute, she’s already A MONTH OLD?!? I “can’t” wait?!?! No no no, I can wait. Please, wait, slow down, just for a bit, let me hold her a bit longer like this, because she’ll only be doing this 6 or 7 times a day in a couple months, because she’ll be sitting and then crawling and too busy for this four months after that, because... because she’s only going to be my little girl for such a short time. I “can’t” wait?
Damned expectations; stop telling me about some “better” tomorrow I “can’t” wait for. Let me stop and catch my breath a bit in Today.
Here’s the cruel irony. With that first baby, I had all the time in the world to revel in every tiny moment, but I didn’t. Because, I don’t know why, I don’t have good reasons, I don’t even have excuses. Because the first child is overwhelming, those Delirious Early Days, and I didn’t know what a luxury of time I truly had? Or because I fell prey to that conceit, that I would remember everything, and here I am remembering (what feels like) nothing? Or maybe because I knew I’d have another one and so I’d get a second chance to hold a two-day, and a two-week old, and a two-month old...? I don’t know.
What I’m realizing is, that first time through, that’s when I had the time to bask in every moment, that’s when life was slow(er). This time, which will be the last time, I wish for more time, I beg internally for any time to bask in any moment, any tiny moment of a day, and life is far from slow, just when I want it to be the most.
So, I’m telling the expectations to take a hike. They're getting in the way of enjoying my baby in whatever brief moments I manage to steal back from Time's slippery hands. And let's be honest, I still have no clue what to expect from Bean, every day is still a complete surprise from him (Holy crap! He can climb into the car by himself and climb over curbs and he doesn't need to hold my hand for any of it, didn't he need to hold my hand yesterday, was it only yesterday? What about today? Don't you want to hold my hand today, buddy? No? Oh /sigh. Ok, then...) There's really no need to compensate for a lack of expectations towards Bean by piling on extras towards Sprout. That's just... complicated.
No, I do believe the expectations have got to go. Quite frankly, I just don’t have the time.