Imagine that six weeks ago yesterday my entire life was altered in a way I slowly come to fathom every day. Piece by piece. On so many levels I am amazed: at myself, for making it happen through a kind of energy and inner strength I wasn’t sure I had… At my husband, who was the ultimate partner throughout the experience… And at this creature which we not only created, but are forever charged with ensuring he survives and thrives…
And that, this little creature does. The days after he was born, I couldn’t believe what a little koala he was. Tiny! He’d curl up on my belly as if he was still on the other side. It was pretty fetal of him and I couldn’t imagine it ever ending.
But in the past couple weeks, I’ve had to come to the realization that he is not the tiny koala he was for the first month. Now when he curls up on my belly, it’s not fetal and it’s not as much curling, either. He’s… tall. His arms and legs are growing out of his preemie-sized outfits and into newborn outfits… and quickly leaving those behind, as well.
I know that’s a good thing and exactly what should be happening. But a part of me – in the same way when I was pregnant – can’t help but feel everything is just… safer when they are inside you, or so small they need you for everything. Need you to hold their heads up. Need you to rock them to sleep. Need you to explain life to them.
Is it too early for this? The pregnancy is slow and calm, and then – like that… It just happens so fast. You give birth and suddenly these little feet and miniature fingers and soft eyes… This baby koala is all yours. And just when you realize you’re going to be a great mom and it’s all doable… he grows. And grows. And you can’t stop it. Suddenly, taking life day by day won’t cut it… It’s gotta be minute by minute… Piece by piece. You might miss the little toes; soon they’ll be gone.
So this past Sunday – and every other since he was born – I’ve taken a look at his head, how much it’s grown, and think… Holy crap, thank god you weren’t six weeks late.