Six months and counting
In three short days, I’ll be the mom of a 6-month-old.
That’s 181 days of pure, unadulterated joy.
As my dear friend Megan, an experienced mom to 13- and 15-year-old boys, always says, time flies when you’re having fun. Especially in parenting.
Since July, I’ve learned that to be true and evident. I hear I’ll be taking Baby Will to the license branch for his driver’s permit before we know it.
Let’s get through this first round of teething first.
In just under 200 days, I’ve learned more about myself than I ever did in attending four years of college classes in my early 20s. Or testing my strengths and weaknesses in a decade of living in the mountains during my 30s. Sure, those phases were important teaching moments in helping me realize my capabilities and independence. Sometimes I needed help along the way, but more often than not I needed to figure it all out on my own. Mostly I did that by following my heart. And being, admittedly, selfish.
Both can have their pros and cons.
Now that I’m a mom, I still follow my heart. That’s how Will came to be, from a place of love and tenderness.
After six months of motherhood, though, I hardly recognize the single, lovelorn columnist I used to be, even as recent as two years ago. I must’ve watched “Love Actually” or “The Notebook” too many times, so I was desperately seeking that kind of love from a novel or Hollywood movie.
People jokingly referred to me as Carrie Bradshaw from “Sex and the City,” although I’ve never come close to owning a pair of Manolo Blahnik stilettos.
Or rushing off to Paris on a whim.
My wanderlust of strolling in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower and eating croissants with marmalade in a sidewalk French cafe can wait a few years.
At least until Will has his driver’s license. If the speed in which the last six months are any indication of how fast parenthood goes, we’ll be admiring Mona Lisa’s famous smile and Venus de Milo’s timeless beauty before we know it.
I probably should brush up on my French a bit first.
For now, I’ll focus on teething and increasing my diaper change time as we take on the next six months before Will turns 1. We will have much to celebrate this July, and I know there will be fireworks involved.
Since he came into the world, early but eager, six months ago, Will has already grown nine inches and packed on nearly 12 pounds.
He smiles and laughs and has taught me that I’m much better at motherhood than I could have ever imagined. I never thought I’d figure out the puzzle that are infant car seats.
But now here I am, getting him in and out of one with ease.
Like Axl Rose sang, all it takes is a little patience.
This half-year milestone as a mom makes me prouder than I ever was as a college student or single-girl columnist. I know now I can overcome about any obstacle.
I know I can teach and help Will grow.
Those late-night feedings and early-morning diaper changes are all part of our great teamwork as mom and baby.
As a first-time mom, these early months — and soon-to-be years — of Will’s life are special for me. I know this is my one chance at doing it right, so I relish every moment. Sometimes I might do it wrong, too,
But I hear that’s OK.
I’m learning along the way, and like my college years in my 20s and my single years in Colorado, I’ll keep these experiences of wonder, learning and enlightenment close to my heart. I know these six months will easily turn into six years, and so on.
And before I know it, he’ll be turning 16 with a driver’s license.
Which I imagine will be pure, unadulterated joy.
April E. Clark needs to fill out Will’s baby book up to six months this week. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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