Don’t Blink. Pass it on.

“Don’t blink.”

I remember strolling bleary-eyed through the aisles of Publix shortly after I had Sammy, and a stranger just blurted that out to me. It took me a second in my sleep-deprived state to grasp its meaning.

“Oh, she means it goes sooo fast. Riiiiight.”

At the time, I was getting up four times a night or more and literally never setting Sammy down during any given day. All I wanted to DO was blink. One, looooong, eight-hour blink. Also known as SLEEP. It baffled me that so many people were repeating this to me as a new mom. Didn’t they know the days were dragging?

Here’s a fun tidbit: When you’re a mom, you learn to do everything one-handed, so you can hold your infant in the other arm. Brush your hair, brush your teeth, clean your counters, put your pants on, put your socks and shoes on, butter your toast… blah blah blah. You get it.

That day kind of feels like forever ago.

Well, fast forward to last night when I cleared out old pictures from my phone after a whole year (I know, I know… but cheers to Apple for the upgraded storage capacity on the new iPhone 6!).

Even though I delete the old ones, some just mysteriously stuck around. That picture you see here is one of them.

It took my breath away.

My baby girl, a year ago, as a true peanut. My second, and likely last baby, in all her tiny nugget glory.

She’ll never be that small again. She’ll never fit into the crook of my arm again. She’ll never need to be carried that much again, and one-armed days of doing things are long over.

Coos have been replaced by words. “Ball.” “Water.” “Mama.” “Poopoo.” (heehee?)

She’s sleeping exclusively in her own crib now. No more falling asleep on my chest at night.

And I have to admit it, I’m kind of devastated.

I wish I could go back to the Early Mom Days Sonni and say, “It’s true! It’s true!! Please, PLEASE don’t blink.”

Early Days Moms, I promise. This, too, shall pass. You will sleep again. You will be go out with your husband alone again. You will put your heels back on and throw away the maternity pants. The bottles and pacifiers and onesies and tiny little mittens will disappear and then one day when you’re doing dishes at the kitchen sink you will look across the room at your toddler/child/teenager and your breath will hitch, and you will remember that one time you held them in the crook of your arm. Your chest will feel the pressure of their tiny body sleeping on it. Your heart will twist, just a little.

Then you will smile. And you will come back to the Present. To your now-older, and even-more-loved child.

And then you will walk through the grocery store, and see a new, exhausted mom with her baby, and say those words, even knowing that she won’t yet fully grasp their entire meaning:

“Don’t blink.”

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