I know, I know. People tell me they grow up so fast, but this is too much – Gem is already getting too big for some of her clothes. Some she didn’t even get to wear.
On Thursday, we had a well baby checkup. At 6 weeks old, she weighs 12 pounds, 4 ounces – up from 7 pounds, 9 ounces at birth. She has grown 3 inches in length and her head circumference has increased by 2 inches since birth.
I worry about how quickly time is passing. I’m afraid I’m going to miss something. I’ve gone whole days without taking a picture of her – and she changes so much each day. I’m a bit sleep deprived and my brain is often in a groggy haze – I worry I’ll miss a smile, or a giggle, or a coo. She is so close to rolling over, she can scootch herself several inches away from where I put her down, she has discovered the baby in the mirror, and when she smiles – my heart stops.
I once heard someone say that parenthood means deciding to let your heart run around outside of your body. I’m starting to get this picture of parenthood as one big, long, excruciating yet joyous exercise in letting go. This started for me even before her birth. When complications started piling up and I spent the 33rd week of my pregnancy in the hospital, I got a crash course in accepting the fact that I can’t control everything. On an intellectual level, I understand that I can’t control everything about my daughter’s upbringing – on an emotional level, I still want to try.
Over the past several years I’ve had several lessons in letting go – losing a job and my father’s death were big lessons. Later I mustered the courage to let go of the income that came from a dead end job so I could go back to college. Lessons learned, perhaps, to prepare me for the years ahead of holding her close, while at the same time, letting her grow.