The passage of time is so bittersweet.
Most mornings, my child sleeps in. If I can get my act together, I have the opportunity to spend an hour or so with a strong cup of coffee and my laptop–getting some of my “work-from-home” work done to the soundtrack of ocean waves on the baby monitor.
This morning, I decided to do something that I have been putting off for some time: backing up my photos from my iPhone to my computer so that I could execute the long awaited software update. Last time I had attempted this, I hadn’t chosen to delete any of the photos after transfer and had (SOMEHOW) managed to upload a bunch more from my computer to my phone. Needless to say, I had long run out of room on my phone for updates and videos.
I didn’t expect the simple transfer of photos to be an emotional endeavor. I suppose I should have known better with my hormones all out of whack, but I didn’t.
As the photos transferred from my phone to iPhoto, I saw nearly two years of my life fly by in pictures, in chronological order. It was glib, almost, to watch 1600 photos fly by my eyes. Occasionally, one would linger on the screen for ten seconds or more as if to ask, “Do you remember me?”
I did. I did so well it hurt.
I remembered the first time my daughter was placed in my arms when I was wheeled back to my hospital room.
I remembered every little smile and frown she made for the first several months of her life as they passed by on my screen.
I remembered taking her to my grandma’s house, and later to the hospital and rehabilitation centers as her time grew shorter and shorter with us.
I remembered the joy on my daughter’s face as she jumped in her rainforest jumper for the first time and how enthralled she was with the fenced-in “play area” I made her when I started to babyproof the house.
The bitterness is in the tears I shed, but the sweetness is what made them fall.
As I watched her teeth seemingly pop out of her gums as the pictures passed, I also realized the ways that I have grown as a mother in 19 months. I have picture proof of many ways I have grown and changed as a first time parent: learning the reason for her non-stop screaming in the first few months of my daughter’s life, examples of incorrect carseat usage and our switch from disposable diapers to cloth.
Nineteen months is merely a snapshot in the timeline of motherhood. It has passed too quickly, but every moment was cherished. I have never, ever wished for any life circumstance that would not have included these first 19 amazing months with Layne (first two screaming months and all).
The path to motherhood is joyous. But with the joy, comes tears.