The First Half

Enjoy every moment; they grow up so fast.

It’s a statement I’ve heard regularly since Ross arrived, and still, I could never have prepared myself for the breakneck speed with which a squirmy, 7-pound newborn can become an active, curious 6-month-old. Time has never moved as quickly as it does now, just as it had never before inched by as slowly as it did while we struggled to bring him into the world. The juxtaposition of these extreme perceptions has made the last several months feel even more surreal. Now half a year has somehow passed us by and all I did was blink.

We’ve had more than our share of bumps in the road since we brought our tiny baby home at the end of January (which I will write about another time), but he made it easy to transition to life as a family of three. There was never an adjustment period; it just felt like we’d found the missing piece to our puzzle. They say that you are never really ready to have your first child, but the day he was born I knew without a doubt that I could not have felt more ready. Being his mom felt natural to me, maybe because I had been dreaming of it for so long.

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I just wish it wouldn’t go by so fast. By the time Ross was a month old, I was already struggling with how quickly he was changing. I love watching him grow and discover the world, but the beginning of each exciting, new stage is often bittersweet because it also means the end of another one. Every photo or video clip we’ve taken of him represents a moment that has already slipped through our fingers into the past, and the pain of knowing that we are unlikely to have a second child makes the endings that much harder to accept. I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that we only have a matter of days to enjoy a phase before he’s moving on to something new; if I am constantly looking backwards, I will miss all of it, and I don’t want to spend his babyhood that way. Instead, I am doing my best to focus on today while looking forward to tomorrow and appreciating yesterday. We have had so many wonderful moments these last six months and I know there are so many more still to come!

I never stop feeling grateful for our miracle. It still hits me at random times just how lucky we are, and I feel overwhelmed all over again. I can be doing something completely mundane like folding his laundry or buying a box of diapers, and all of a sudden I will think, I can’t believe this is my life! I can’t believe I get to do this now! The grief and loss of the last several years have made me take for granted less and appreciate more during this time. I believe that the hard moments have been easier and the good moments even better because I know all too well what life is like without him and that everything– no matter how maddening or tiring or monotonous it feels at the time– is a privilege. Everything.

January:

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February:

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March:

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April:

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May:

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June:

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July:

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Our Paddington Bear

 

 

 

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10 thoughts on “The First Half

  1. Wonderful photos!!! Enjoy all the firsts and keep enjoying every day!!! You are a very special family! And you little guy is a lucky kiddo!!!

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  2. It’s been so much fun watching him grow and develop his unique personality. Can’t get enough of your pictures of him. We’re so thankful for his addition to yours and our family. Xoxoxo

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  3. So beautifully written. I’m so happy for you. And it’s refreshing to read a post that’s so full of gratitude and appreciation for this ltitle miracle.

    p.s. The March pic is my favorite. What a cute little St. Patty’s Day baby Ross makes!

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  4. Once again Ashley, you capture the essence of what’s in your heart so beautifully! Thank you for sharing! The pictures are adorable! I can’t wait to see you all soon. Love you! nGram

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  5. I’m so happy for all three of you. Ross is a beautiful little guy and a very blessed baby because he has two very loving and devoted parents. Enjoy the ride (it is a quick one as you so eloquently pointed out). Much happiness and keep sending photos 🙂
    Love, Lisa

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