You Were Once a Baby in My Arms

“Baby, do you want a tomato and avocado sandwich?” my husband calls from the kitchen. Yes, my husband is amazing. However, this isn’t about his sandwich making skills but about how, in that split second of asking, I was transported back to a moment in time so very different from now and that power of memory just hits.

I’m sat in our first home, just hours after arriving home from hospital with Georgia. I am 25. I can see the beautiful Georgian sash window in front of me, leading on to the tiny little patch of grass that we used to think we didn’t have time to cut. The fireplace, to my left, looks beautiful where we have just had a friend expose and re-point the brickwork. Ray Charles, singing Georgia On My Mind, a present from my father after having my daughter, plays softly on the stereo. I can see the modern cream chair, that we were so excited to buy, from IKEA, nestled next to the bookshelves either side of the fireplace, filled with my husband’s law books and my chick lit I was so fond of in my 20s. Smells of sandalwood waft through the room, a favourite aroma of ours at the time. And there, on my lap, is you. My beautiful baby girl. We are now a family. We are a three.

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Your tiny hand curls around my little finger as you feed. Your eyes close in that milk drunk content baby way. Your toes push against the seams of the tiny babygro and you smell of that delicious newborn baby smell. I have never felt so complete. You are only days old and only weeks from now I will sob as the emotion of anyone ever hurting you fills me, consumes me. And, from the kitchen, my husband, who is on paternity leave, calls “Baby, do you want a tomato and avocado sandwich?”

But, back to now. You’re sat opposite me on another cream chair and you’re 17. The power of memory and tricks of the mind have me imagining you sat with me back in our first home and I’m talking to you about you as a baby. You’re sat across from me, as I’m feeding you, in that modern IKEA chair in our little lounge of our first home, clad in cool leather leggings, straightened hair and an air of confidence that I never had. I see you both as a baby and who you are today. It is hard to comprehend that you are closer to the age I was then than you are to me now. And, in that split second, you’re you as a baby and who you are now, simultaneously. I want to tell you the love I feel, the pride I feel, never could I ever have envisaged you would become you, the excitement of having a child but the emotion of seeing you having grown so fast overwhelms me. The power of memory evokes such emotion that it is hard to believe that 17 years have passed. Never has the speed of time felt so real as now.

We rush through our lives, sometimes not taking the time to stop, to appreciate, to enjoy. The power of that memory has made me want to stop, appreciate and enjoy life so much more. Zero to 17 years in 5 seconds flat was almost too much to bear. I’m doing everything I can now to slow it down, if that is even possible!

I’ll leave you with this thought too. Mabel was a lady I used to look after in a residential care home. I was 18. On her dressing table was a picture of her wedding day. As I bathed and dressed her, she used to tell me that it only felt like yesterday. At 18 I could not comprehend that. But at 43 I can … just saying.

114 thoughts on “You Were Once a Baby in My Arms

  1. Gosh. Beautiful. You transported me back 14 years. We had an Ikea chair- bet it was the same one, with the wooden frames and removable cushions. You love them so much, it hurts. Time flies. CHerish every second. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. This is absolutely beautiful and I often feel the same about my children and wonder where the last couple of years have gone! In fact I really miss the time my son was born and I had all the time in the world to enjoy him. I often wish he was a baby in my arms again so we could do all of that again. xx

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  3. What a beautiful post, I found myself feeling a little emotional though as time really does go by so fast! It’s hard to always remember but we really do have to live for the moment and you have reminded me of that this evening so thank you 💕 xx

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  4. This is so so lovely. Honesty I truly never understood the meaning of the word bittersweet until now. Every day that passes, every milestone reached brings me so much happiness and so much sadness at the same time. It goes in the blink of an eye doesn’t it?! Beautiful post lovely lady xx

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    1. Oh, Lauren, thank you so much for reading and for your beautiful comment. Bittersweet for sure – you want them to achieve and to develop but with each stage something is also taken away from you as a mother. But memory does play tricks and does speed everything up – you’ve got years lovely xx

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  5. this is so beautiful but so hard to read,….it seems like two minutes ago when I was living in a rented house with one of those cream Ikea chairs… feeding my little girl .. shes now 18 and ready to leave for Uni… this will kill me but shes grown into a very independant … carefree … doesnt take no ‘crap’ ! young adult… while I think shes ready to leave I dont think Ill ever be ready for September!

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    1. Oh you totally understand then – you know the cream chair I write about!! We aren’t equipped to deal with them leaving at all are we?! thank you so much for your lovely comment and for reading xx

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