The past weekend was Dean’s birthday. He is one of those weird people who doesn’t like to celebrate his birthday; this concept seems so strange to me seeing as I’m one to mark and celebrate just about any occasion. We had a wonderful day, though, filled with family, friends, food and laughs. One of my favorite moments was when Dean demanded from Stacey, our awesome friend and Harley’s godmother, that he wanted to hold Harley instead of her. It was one of many milestones I observed this weekend.
You see, normally, I hold Harley for hours every day. When she’s awake, she mostly prefers to be held, although she also seems to enjoy the pram or going for car rides. Recently, I’ve been able to pass her off to Dean for a bit – they “watch” cartoons together (I’m not really sure she’s even looking at the screen) and he has fun playing with her. Those times are becoming longer and more frequent, although I still feel like I have a body on me all day, every day. But she seems to be changing a bit, and so does he.
I noticed it a lot in our most recent massage class. She was awake when we arrived, which was a first for her, and after I greeted the teacher, I let her lie on her stomach on her little mat. She immediately held up her head and chest, showing just how strong she’s become. This wasn’t a first for her – she has had great head and neck control for a while, but she hasn’t lay in that position for extended periods of time before; she would push herself up and then look around before putting her head back down. This time, she held her head up for quite a few minutes, looking around and making gurgling noises.
During her class, she was awake and engaging with the various massages and exercises. She only cried once, and that was when she needed a nappy change and was a bit hungry. After a change and nursing, she was back with the rest of the group for the remainder of the activities. Sure, she still cries throughout the day, but I seem to know what she needs and she doesn’t fuss nearly as much or for as long. She loves her tummy time and massages, and she adores when Dean plays with her – making her stand, dancing with her, watching cartoons and pointing things out to her. There is something about the magic of Disney with Daddy…
Speaking of Dean, he has also changed in the past few weeks. I think that Harley has started to grow on him. Sure, it’s still hard for him when she cries, but he is starting to do more with her when she is awake and looking for entertainment. He has his own nicknames for her and I see how adorable they are together.
It also meant that I was able to go to the store on my own yesterday for the first time in what felt like ages. He stayed home with her (both of them were happy to nap) while I picked up some supplies for the week. Getting in the car, being in my own quiet thoughts, driving alone – it all felt glorious. The silence was bliss.
And then I got to the store and saw other moms shopping with their little ones. As I smiled at a little girl strapped into the shopping trolley next to mine at the bakery section, I felt like a piece of myself was missing. Where’s my baby? Of course I knew where she was, but in that moment, I missed her. I haven’t had the chance to miss her, but this time I did. I knew she was fine home alone with Dean, but I couldn’t help missing the feel of that tiny body that seems to always be on me. That little person who is always with me and drives me crazy with her constant need for me. My princess, my little Harley – in that quiet moment in my own thoughts, I felt my own bonding milestone of missing her.
The years with Dean, the months with Harley, they all seem to be going so fast. The time is screaming past, and I’m enjoying being in the moment with both of them (most of the time), but it’s also so lovely to pause and look back on these milestones. Harley is growing and doing so well, and the same goes for me and Dean. I am so proud of all of us.