Last night we took the kids shopping for their brother's birthday presents.
What do you get a thirteen year old, anyway?
I had an idea - useful things. Things that make sense. Sadly, not toys.
So there we were in the back of our favorite big box store (you know the one, starts with a "Tar" and ends with something that rhymes with "let") when we bumped into an acquaintance with her new-ish baby. I'm a baby magnet. Like, I cannot be in the same room with a baby without grabbing it out of it's mothers clutches (as long as I know her) and taking a big whiff of that new baby smell. This baby was no different.
In fact, he was quite adorable.
But, I restrained myself.
I only grabbed his little foot. And gave it a nice big squeeze.
I was standing there admiring that baby boy, admiring the mother's beautiful moby wrap (they did not have those thirteen years ago), talking to her about the item in her cart - an exersaucer - which would be the most important piece of equipment she could ever have as it allows a mom to actually shower without the baby freaking out - when it hit me.
This was me thirteen years ago.
Except without the beautiful moby wrap...because those weren't around. Oh no. I had something purple and turquoise (and no it wasn't the 80's) called a "baby carrier". It was hideous. And my baby hated it. And I can't even believe that I put him in that thing and walked around.
To stand there and talk to her, and squeeze her first baby's little chunk-a-chunk-a foot and realize that I was there, in those same shoes, so may years ago. Well, it kind of choked me up.
I remember it like it was yesterday. The way he smelled. The way he sounded. The way I could not, even for one second, take my eyes off of him. The way he fit in the seat of our rocking chair (the same one that sits piled with laundry in our bedroom right now). The way he laughed. The way he spit up. The way he loved, loved, loved his baths and everything daddy. The way he fit into the space right beneath my chin. The way he giggled when we played peek-a-boo.
How did we come from those baby days - the days of diapers and bottles and writing down every poop - to this, the days of hanging out with friends, football, iPods, fishing and trying to convince me that he's old enough to shave?
It's not that I don't enjoy everything that he is now.
Because I do. Well, except the eye rolling. I could really do with less eye rolling. And talking back. And...
Okay, I'll go easy on him. It's his birthday.
I just can't believe how fast it really does go by. Everyone says that it will. I've heard it my entire life. And I suspect I'll hear it for many years to come. It is something we're told, something we tell others, something that falls from our lips as easily as breathing air. It goes by so fast, enjoy it now.
But I wonder when I'll really start believing it?
Maybe tomorrow, when I wake up my teenager. Oy.