Loosening The Straps

by Alison Friedman in Marvelous Madelyn, Mommy's Musings

As Madelyn grows, there are some things that will be welcomed with open arms: a potty trained baby, spoken words of “I love you,” and reciprocated cuddles. I can’t wait for those milestones to happen and know I’ll be super excited when those stages begin.

However, this baby is growing too fast! This baby that we couldn’t wait to arrive is already almost 14 weeks old and is basically a mini giant in my lap. My first realization that she’s no longer a newborn occurred when I went to strap her in her car seat before going on a drive.

I went to fasten the buckle and I pulled and pulled, but the two ends barely touched. I looked over at Princeton. Lacking thumbs, did he manage to tighten the straps when I wasn’t looking? That sneaky dog! I thought maybe Bryan had played with the fastener and left it too tight. Perhaps the last time I took Madelyn out, I pulled the straps in the opposite direction to make it more snug. None of these scenarios made sense. But just for kicks, I tried her in her bouncer to see how she measured up there.

Sure enough, the straps were tight and the “male” and “female” ends of the buckle didn’t quite snap together.

And then it hit me. Madelyn was growing and it was time to loosen the straps.

Loosening the straps marks a milestone in her growth and development. She was such a teeny thing when we brought her home from the hospital, and although she grew right in front of our faces, we lost track of just how big she was getting. It’s hard to measure with your own eyes. It’s a subjective way to track. But buckles and straps don’t lie. They are factual in their measurements and don’t change over time like our Madelyn.

So while all the objects around her stay the same, Madelyn continues to grow, adding on inches and pounds to her fingers, her waist, her legs. Her cheeks continue to bust outward and her chin keeps on sweeping low. She is no longer a tight, compact package, and instead this baby is branching out to become a little person. And if that’s just the outside, I can’t even begin to comprehend how she’s growing on the inside!

I used to look at her when I held her and couldn’t believe she was once inside me. And now I look at her as I loosen her straps, and can’t believe how she was ever so small. Time has flown and I desperately try to hold onto each minute because I don’t want to miss a nanosecond of her growing up. She will never be the same person she was a minute ago and a minute before that. And if each minute is so wonderful, my brain hurts to imagine how the next minute can top it. But it always does.

Left: Madelyn at 4 days old. Right: Madelyn at ~9 weeks old

Despite the nature of this topic, I’m not actually thaaaat mushy of a writer, so I must end the post with this: If this was a movie, and my words were complemented by a montage of scenes depicting a mother and her child, the soundtrack would be Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” and there’d be lots of slow motion.