By Kate Kole
“She still needs you,” my husband said as I sat at the foot of our bed holding back tears.
We had just transitioned our 4-month-old daughter from her bassinet to her crib for the first time. I was completely caught off guard by the ugly cry threatening to escape me.
I had once again entered the land of only and already that has so often marked my journey through motherhood thus far.
He’s only crawling. He’s already crawling. He’s only two. He’s already two. She’s only sleeping in her own room. She’s already sleeping in her own room.
“I just didn’t fully realize that yesterday would be a last,” I said, staring blankly at the wall in front of me.
The same way I didn’t know the last time I would nurse my son or swaddle my daughter. The last time we would use the baby bathtub or the infant car seat.
Of course, on a cognitive level, I’m aware that they’ll grow. I celebrate the milestones. Cheering on their first roll and every letter in the alphabet learned. In fact, I’ll find myself craving the autonomy that comes with every stage advanced. Looking forward to the days that my low back won’t feel the physical strain of lugging littles. That I sleep for more than a 4-hour stretch. That my most impressive life skill is something other than holding a baby in one hand while washing a plate in the other.
But then, the seemingly simple move of transitioning from a bassinet to a crib happens, all but knocking me to my knees.
I know that in so many ways we’re still in the beginning stages of parenting. That on the spectrum of only and already, we lean heavily toward the starting line. But each first and last serves as a physical reminder of the passage of time.
Today is just a Tuesday. Filled with early wake ups and gummy smiles. Yogurt spilled on freshly swiffered floors. Cartoon theme songs and baby squeals. Pushing limits and toddler timeouts. Nap time stories with a kid in each arm.
Yet seeing it now within the realm of only and already reminds me of just how much the little moments on an ordinary day wedged in the middle of the week matter.