That was a piece advice given to me some years ago by a friend when I asked her how she and her husband knew when they were ready to have their first child.
And she was right. No matter how much running we did to prepare for our little guy more than three years ago already, when the moment comes, you’re never quite ready for just how much life changes after that.
Now, we’re here all over again.
Three years have gone by and the little baby I once held in my arms at the hospital is a walking, talking, potty-using little boy who wants to talk to me about animals and superheroes, and “all that stuff” (his all encompassing catchphrase). And very, very soon, we’ll be back in the hospital all over again, welcoming another little life into the world and into our lives.
Yet, it seems as though this has, for lack of a better term, snuck up on us. Like a whirlwind, these nine months have breezed by, snatching us up in its winds of craziness at the tail end, sometimes leaving us with that crazed “how can we possibly be ready?!” feeling.
Before our little guy, it was just Meg and I (and the cats, of course). So throughout the nine months leading up to his arrival, it felt like all the time in the world to prepare, to get ready.
Now, though, it feels like we’re all just trying to keep our heads above water, be it work, life, or just keeping up with the little guy. And it’s with that hurried-rush of each day that nine months went by in the blink of an eye.
Here we are. Any day now it happens. Sure, we’ve done a lot. We cleaned out the office. We moved in the crib. We’ve put up shelves. Pulled out baby clothes. Decorated. Made the house a home for a baby once more.
I’ll admit. No matter how much we cross off the list, how much running around we do to get things ready, it never feels like we’ve done enough, been ready enough, but ready or not, here they come.
Time is moving by at an alarming rate.
I am unable to fathom the speed with which the past nine months have flown by. It seems like only a week or so ago that it was Halloween night and we sat there, slightly late for our rehearsal of “Arsenic and Old Lace” at a local theatre house, realizing what a life changing moment that little “plus” sign on a stick was.
We recorded a video that night for our kid to one day see, letting them know that, yes, their parents were once young, and what an amazing day this was for us.
As the months moved along, I went through phases of checklists, worried more about what had to be done around the house before the baby than their actual arrival. Then it hit me a few months ago that this was the one shot we get at a first child, that our lives will forever be changed, and that this time together, before the child’s arrival, should be savored.
I took a step back and have been smelling the proverbial roses of each day as best I can.
I admit that this past weekend, as we put the semi-final touches on the baby’s nursery – a few sheets down in the crib – it suddenly just seemed so incredibly real.
It’s happening and happening very soon, and before we know it, we parents-to-be will just be parents.
Where did all the time go?
It’s fascinating that a few sheets on a baby’s mattress could make me feel this introspective, but well, there you have it.
If time is moving this fast now, I’m a little frightened about the years ahead.