Today, I tried to put my daughter in a favourite vest of mine: a Harvard University one, a gift from my sister-in-law. It matches my own Harvard University t-shirt which I bought in Boston in 2012. Anyway, it was far too small. I couldn’t even squeeze her arms through the arm holes.
There is reason to rejoice, of course. She is growing! She is a lovely size, with adorable chubbiness. My milk is providing her with everything she needs. And yet, I am so sad that she has outgrown yet another favourite top.
I rushed her into certain cute 3-6m clothes, when I could have been enjoying the 0-3m ones. Why? Simply because I couldn’t wait. It is a trivial matter, but it is a matter nonetheless.
“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1
Each phase of Isobel’s life will bring great joys, as well their own challenges. As each phase draws to a close, I know there will be things I will rejoice over never having to do again. But there will be so much I will miss, and so much I will never experience with her again.
When I wrote this originally, earlier today in my quiet time, there was an alternate end. Since then, though, there has been heartbreaking news that the MP Jo Cox, wife and mother of 2, has been stabbed and shot dead in broad daylight. The news is horrifying anyway, and when I saw it I text a mummy friend, “I’m just sat here crying. What is this world we are living in? I cannot believe an MP has been shot dead. I cannot believe the hatred being spread.”
The news chills me to the core. As a mother, Jo Cox may have kissed her children goodnight last night, or made their breakfast this morning, unaware that it would be the final time she would do it. As parents we do not know when the last time we do something will be the last time. I do not know when I will do Isobel’s final breastfeed. I do not know when she will wear her final nappy, nor when her final nighttime feed will be. I do not know the last time I will see her gummy smile without teeth. Jo Cox did not know that she would never again get to say to her children, “I love you.” She will never get to say those words again.
Grasp every moment. Live in the here and now. Enjoy the seasons.
Life is precious.