You started crawling two days before your first birthday. Your sister was running by then. Holding things.
Had I not spent enough time with you? She takes most of my time and you were so content to cling to my chest and watch.
You still won’t hold you bottle. You can, but you won’t. Other kids are starting with cups. You still want me to hold it for you as we rock before bed.
We still rock.
A month ago, we listened to your sister “explain” a prehensile tail to a woman who worked at the zoo. You interrupted her lecture, coughing, because you’d eaten some of my hair.
I’ve googled, and pinterest-ed, and talked to friends with developmental degrees—regaling them with “stories” until they catch on that I’m listing what I’m worried are symptoms.
For months I’ve worried, and compared, and bothered, and obsessed.
And yesterday, I realized something.
You were angry, because you couldn’t communicate. You were frustrated and sitting in the middle of the floor with a room full of people and nobody understood you.
Yesterday, it hit me like a ton of bricks and I remembered what I’d prayed for.
I asked for another baby. One I could go slow with. One I could savor. Your sister was so fast. So quick to everything. And when I was praying for you, I’d asked God for another chance to take it slow. Not to push forward. Not to rush to the next milestone. Not to be so worried about who did what, when.
And here I am doing exactly that.
How selfish and ridiculous are we as humans, sometimes? That even when we get exactly what we begged for–we forget we ever asked.
Today I will do better.
I promise to hold your bottle, because that lets me keep you tucked close to my heart.
I promise to hold your hands as you take your short little steps, because eventually you’ll walk alone.
I promise to listen to you “talk”, because one day you will belong to the world, but until then–only your momma understands.
You are not slow. You are my last baby. Perfectly and wonderfully made. Designed to make me better. And you already have.
I promise not to let worry steal any more of our joy. I’m sorry it took me so long to get here.
Thank you for waiting…
…for me to catch up.
Liza Dora is an author, illustrator, and Texan living in Tennessee with her husband and two children. Liza graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in chemistry and is the proudest member of the class of 2007.
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