I feel like I've been living a dual existence lately: caught up in the process of trying to make a second child (I'll update on how that's going another time: basically, Not Good), while being riveted by AJ and how she is growing.
She really isn't a baby anymore. Of course, I still call her Baby Girl, and probably will when she's 20 if she'll let me. There are moments where I fleetingly see the newborn in her (a certain sleepy, secretive smile, the shape of her head and way her ears stick out when looked at from the back, the way her face crumples up when she cries). Will I also still be seeing those flashes of the newborn when she's 20, I wonder? But most of the time, she's busy reminding us over and over again she's Not a Baby.
I have four photo collages up in the dining room, two big rectangles with 12 photos apiece and two smaller ones, 8 photos each. In theory these are supposed to be updated every year; in reality this job is procrastinated because sorting, printing and displaying photos is a terribly time consuming and therefore difficult and stressful. So the photos have not been changed since shortly before AJ's first birthday, and they are all of her in the first year of life. Lately, I'm thinking I really have to change them up, because she Does. Not. Look. Like. That. Baby. Anymore.
I don't know; those (not so) old photos have somehow brought it home in a way that everything else, even all the developmental milestones, haven't. The baby is a child.
In a way it's therapeutic: As AJ grows into an individual, she grows away from the whole process of conception and pregnancy and even birth and infancy. It's nice to be reminded that life is evolving and surprising and meant to flower beyond its (amazing) beginnings. Her growth and change is a reminder that the future is unwritten and could be very different from the past and from the future I imagined in the past. And that's.....sad and delightful and frightening and liberating all at once.
I savour the moments that I have with this child, this totally unique life.
Also here is the Susan Aglukark song with the same name as this post. Because.