Malcolm started crawling three days ago.
At first, it was very tentative and purposeful, nothing to be too alarmed by ... He only moved if there was something he really wanted just out of his reach. He would move in a straight line, fall back onto his butt and contentedly begin playing with whatever object he had acquired. Now, only three days later, it's full blown "Hey! I can do it, so gosh darn, I'm going to go for it!" crawling. He is moving in circles around the living room, following me where ever I go, grabbing at anything and everything that happens to be within his reach, getting faster and faster and feeling quite proud of himself. There is rarely a moment where he isn't squeaking and squealing as he goes.
It's quite a sight to see.
A sight that I realize I wasn't fully, emotionally, prepared for.
As I swell with pride for him, I also find myself saddened by the fact that my little baby isn't a baby anymore. Like it or not, he is growing. Life as we know it is changing. This is an exciting phase of our lives, that is certain, but it is so hard to believe how far we've come in such a short amount of time.
Last summer, I was still pregnant ... Preparing for my baby shower and, ultimately, life with my new baby. At that time I didn't even know what I was having (although I truly felt like I was having a boy). I was filled with anticipation over what life would bring. How would things change for my husband and me? How would this new child behave? Would he/she keep us up all night? Who would he/she look like? What sort of personality would he/she have? How would I adjust to being a mother?
As each of these old questions is answered, a part of me wishes that I could set back the clock (if just a little bit). I miss the cuddliness of a newborn. I miss how Malcolm would snuggle up on my chest after a meal and peacefully drift off to sleep. I (already) miss the simplicity of a kid that was happy staying put. The other part of me, rightfully so, knows that life must go on. I can see that, as one question is answered, another is posed. As one milestone is reached, another is just around the corner. Today it is crawling. Tomorrow it will be walking. Later still will be the utterance of first words ...
It would be an understatement to say that I'm loving every moment of being a mother.
While I never felt very maternal leading up to the birth of my son, I must admit that anything that was lacking then has increased by over one hundred percent now. Being with Malcolm day after day just feels so natural, and it makes me happy to know that I must be doing something right. He is so well-adjusted, very easy-going, and he is very obviously happy. The smile he has for me each morning when I enter his bedroom is enough to make my heart explode into a million little pieces. His laugh is infectious and his goofy faces are a sight to behold. There is nothing about this kid that I do not love ... Honestly. I can't think of a single thing. Even his messiest poopy diapers or his crabby, tired whining is lovable.
It's hard to believe that my little baby is getting older at such an alarming rate. The crawling (and any other milestone) only serves as a visible reminder.
Even so, Malcolm will always remain my "baby" no matter how old he becomes ...