I was searching through iPhoto late last night, looking at a little face that’s been replaced with a bigger face, a louder face, a different face.
As much as I love hanging with 3-year-old Noah — I wouldn’t trade him for any baby in all the world — a part of me achingly misses that fleeting first year.
I miss the little boy who would only go to sleep if he was clutching mommy’s shirt. The infant boy who would fall asleep in a baby carrier, his cheek sticking to my chest. Who would gurgle and coo and eat from my body.
I miss the newness.
I miss watching his eyes turn from brown to blue to green, his face shifting with each month, becoming more animated — more Noah.
I miss the firsts.
I miss how he used to sleep with one arm straight up in the air, and how we thought that might last forever. (It didn’t.)
I miss how he used to sleep with a binkie, and how we were convinced that would last forever. (It didn’t.)
I miss how he used to sleep in the nook of my arm, and how I wanted that to last forever. (It didn’t.)
Maybe it’s because I worked such long hours during that first year, consumed with guilt and heartache and confusion. Or maybe it’s because those first 12 months were much like someone accidentally sitting on the fast-forward button — our swaddled baby suddenly blurring into rolling, scooting, clapping, laughing, crawling, running.
But wait, go back, you fast-forwarded over the best part.
I miss him.
And somehow I knew that I would miss him, even back then, as each week he turned into a different Noah.
And somehow I love that first-year Noah even more now, looking back — now that I recognize the personality simmering at the surface, waiting to emerge.
As much as I miss the baby boy who communicated with sign language and babbles, I know that I’ll miss the little boy who communicates with songs and spells.
And I hold him a little tighter.
This post is sponsored by Disney Baby. I’ll be joining the Disney Baby blogging team next month, and look forward to sharing these kinds of stories (projects/ideas/etc) with you over there! Stay tuned for more details!