A pause at 11 months

11 months

Today, Harley is 11 months old. I honestly feel dumbfounded about it. I know time keeps marching on, I understand that the older we get, the faster time seems to move. And everyone warned me that having a baby makes time go even faster. I get all of that, and yet I simply can’t understand where the last 11 months have gone. How can Harley be so big already? How can so many months have passed?

It’s tempting to look at this milestone as almost a year. She is almost a year old, it’s been almost a year since she came into our lives… and yet, that somehow seems to undermine the impact of 11 months. It’s not quite a year, it’s something different. It’s something that still deserves a celebration, and moment to pause and look back on the time that’s elapsed and the time that’s ahead. I mean, after this milestone, I doubt I’ll be counting months anymore. From here on out, it will be years, and they will still go screaming past. So, here’s a break, a breather, to think about 11 months.

Harley is getting her first tooth now. It’s broken the skin, a sharp tiny edge in the front of her bottom jaw. It’s making her very uncomfortable, and in turn making life rather uncomfortable as she is waking up every hour just to howl in pain, not even to nurse. I’ve bought some topical stuff to go along with her usual pain meds, so hopefully tonight is easier.

Harley has kinda sorta almost figured out crawling. She’s not quite there, acting more like something out of The Walking Dead. She will sit nicely, and then realize something she wants is out of reach. She walks her hands forward until she’s basically in the crawling position, at which point she scoots both her legs forward, then pulls some more with her arms. I know she will get there, but for now it’s kinda entertaining to watch her weird zombie crawl.

The little munchkin adores bath time. I think it’s one of her favorite things every day. She likes splashing, and fiddling with her toys. She also likes handing me her one toy (which is actually the bath thermometer), for which I say thank you before handing it back to her. Back and forth, give and take, over and over and over again.

That seems to be most of my day, in fact. It’s all repetition. The repetition of showing her the toys in front of her, of singing songs, of nursing her, of playing together, of trying to keep her from hurting herself, of failing and needing to kiss her fingers or her head when she knocks or pinches them. It isn’t easy. No, that’s for sure… it really isn’t easy. And yet, it’s effortless because it’s worth it to see her engage, to make her laugh, to play and smile and enjoy my time with this tiny growing person. She makes me crazy, makes my carpal tunnel flare up and my back hurt from lifting her all the time… and yet I wouldn’t trade it.

11 months ago, I became a mommy. It’s a job I’ll have for the rest of my life. I’m now someone’s mom. Not just someone, I’m Harley’s mom. I’m still me; I’ve worked hard to maintain my own identity. And yet.. it’s like a superhero having an alter ego or something. I am working Zoe, wife Zoe, independent Zoe and now… mommy. I feel like I have become more in the past 11 months. Yes, I’ve become more tired, and more stressed, and more guilty, and more worried, but I’ve also become more resilient, more confident, more empowered, and filled with so much more love.

Motherhood is hard. No amount of preparation or warning can prepare you for it. But it is also so beautiful, and it just keeps on getting better. So here is to 11 months!


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