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.

fullsizerender-76

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. You are right! The time just flies by. My daughter is almost 4 years old and I can’t comprehend how she grew up so fast so I can understand how you’ll be feeling for teenager. We can’t slow down time; all we can do is try to cherish our kids as much as possible and create innumerable memories with them. After all, memories are all we are left with once they grow up and move out. Nice article.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful reflection. I honestly don’t know where the time goes and it’s funny how vividly you remember things like what you ate and heard on the radio that day they were born. My eldest turns 9 this year, and I can’t quite believe it. Thanks for joining us for #marvmondays

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You once again managed to make me cry. I too worked in a old people’s home in my teens, and failed to understand similar comments from my ladies. Yet now, heading towards my 40s it is only too easy to understand. My eldest is now almost 10, preparing for her first residential trip. She is ready, but I’m not sure I ever will be. To me as proud as I am of the girl she’s become, she’ll always be the baby in my arms. Thank you so much for linking up with #PostsFromTheHeart and reminding us all to cherish the moments.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you for your lovely comment. I think working in a residential care home was the making of me though – so important to see that side of life. I wonder if that is why we write so much, we care and we reflect and we appreciate all those aspects of life that may get forgotten – the little things – all of it. Thank you for your comment xx

      Like

  4. God, what a lovely post. Made me cry. Time really flies by so quickly, just yesterday my kids were in my arms, needing all of my attention and help. Today they stand beside me, 8 and 9, and it’s overwhelming looking back…Another 9 and they’ll be all grown up. Slow down the time, freeze the happy moments – if only we could, right?;) #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is lovely and made me tearful. My little girl is only four and a half months old, but she’s grown so fast already. She’s no longer really teeny tiny and she’s so knowing now, I’ve been trying to savour every moment but it’s still gone so fast. I’m sure I’ll also be looking at a 17 year old before I know it. #BigPinkLink

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh Helen… This is so beautiful… I know exactly what you mean about the power of memory, and how you can sometimes get flashes of memory so powerful-you can almost touch it and smell it-you can feel exactly how you felt in that very moment. I seem to be really noticing at the moment, how quickly the time is passing. My eldest is going to school in September, and I really don’t want him to. But the more I try and push the thought away, the more it seems to hurtle towards me faster. I used to be a community nurse, and I always felt so sad seeing the pictures of the patients and their families, from when they were young, and them telling me how quickly the time went-I’ve been making such an effort to try and take it in more, and enjoy it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much, lovely. Memory is so powerful and I do believe that mine is playing so many tricks as my oldest is nearly ready to leave – it’s a time of immense feeling and emotion. You’ve still got years my lovely so don’t forget that. memory makes things seems like yesterday but the reality is that you’ve got wonderful years ahead whilst they are still little. Thank you for such a lovely comment, as always xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. So Many times we are reminded of how fast time goes. I talk about this often. Taking the time to enjoy every little moment we have with our children and spouses. This was a wonderful read. Don’t worry about missing the past, just stay focused on enjoying the “right now”.

    #postsfromtheheart

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is so beautiful and has actually made me quite emotional. My boys and 3and a half and 3 months and they are both growing so quickly, some days I just can’t believe it. You never appreciate how quickly time flies until you have kids I don’t think. This is a fabulously written post xx #mg

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you. Your are still both so young and as I’ve said in previous comments, it is the memories that make it seem like yesterday but you have in fact got years of gorgeousness with them xx

      Like

  9. Beautiful as always. Everyone always said that they grow up so quickly, and I didn’t really believe it until I looked at my daughter the other day and could hardly believe there was a time when she was small and helpless, and couldn’t walk, talk or do anything for herself. And she’s only 20 months! I suspect I’ll have many of these moments in the years to come. #MarvMondays

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you! The memories are all so beautiful but so poignant now that my oldest has nearly left home – it’s a strange feeling to say the least. You’ve got years I promise – it’s the memories that make it seem like yesterday but in reality it’s years xx

      Like

  10. Beautifully written, Helen. I wonder if it’s the age our eldest daughters are at, because I have been wanting to slow down time recently too. In fact, since my 17 year old got into a car and then told me that she finishes school in May. It certainly makes you reflect. Alison x #mg

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, lovely. I think we’ve hit a real shock of a time in terms of them being s0 close to leaving – hard! As much as we adore them becoming these gorgeous adults our memories flit back to when they were little xx

      Like

  11. Oh my days please write a book. I would read it. What wonderful writing; I devoured this post. The imagery of you sat with your baby girl. Mine is 6 and a baby boy of 1 and I regularly pray that when I go, my heaven will be these exact type moments for an eternity. Wonderful post, thank you. #Postfromtheheart

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a beautiful post. My daughter is three and I can’t fathom where the time has gone. My youngest is now 8 weeks … I know time will fly again. I love each stage so far but it’s bittersweet to look back! x #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is such a wonderfully descriptive post – I feel like I can see it all and feel it as you speak. I don’t think you realise how quickly time flies until you have kids. Growing up yourself, it feels like an eternity until you get to 17 years old, now that time passes in a flash #DreamTeam

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a lovely memory and a beautifully written post. It’s scary how time flies past so quickly with the little ones. It’s gone in a blink of an eye as you say. If only we could put a time stopper on every now and again. Thank you for sharing with the #DreamTeam x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I know you know too! The years are long though really but memory has a way of erasing the time – very frustrating. I think as your children are almost ready to leave the memories are fresher than ever! xx

      Like

  15. Oh this made me cry! So beautifully written Helen. I always say I can’t really imagine past the age of about 7… but I know before I know it I will have a teenager. I really LOVE being a Mum of a little one and I do think I’ll look back very nostalgically to these days. My eldest niece is 16 now and I just can’t believe it – I remember so clearly playing princesses with her when I was 11 and she was 1!
    #DreamTeam

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Such a moving post. My daughter is two and have those flashbacks. I can’t imagine how powerful and jerking they must be after 17 years. It’s also the strangest things that trigger it – like you had with your husband asking for a sandwich. Music is usually the trigger for me. We bought a new album the day before my daughter was born which I listen to a lot in those early days. Sometimes it stops me in my tracks and takes me back to that time… Time is such a funny thing. #MarvMondays #DreamTeam

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh this is beautiful. My two are only 5 and 3 and I have those moments of seeing them as a baby and seeing them as they are now and realising how quickly the time is going by – I have no doubt that I will blink and find they are teenagers. I love how vividly you paint those memories and the reminder to slow down and appreciate those moments is always a good one x #bloggerclubuk

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Catie memory gets right in the way of emotion sometimes! Sorry! I’m really feeling it at the moments mine are getting older and so nearly ready to go make their own paths!! Thank you for your lovely comment xx

      Like

  18. Beautiful. Savouring every moment with my daughter right now…even though my son is only three, he’s a ever present reminder of how quickly it’s going to go. I love the way you describe her as being the you then and the you now. The same you but so completely different. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Ah everyone tells me time with my little ones will go by in a heartbeat. It doesn’t always feel it when your in the thick of it but I know it deep down. I know I will be staring at my 17 year old before I know it. Argh scary thought, I’m off to look and my sleeping babies to calm me down. Hehe. Thanks for joining us at #familyfunx

    Liked by 1 person

  20. You made that strong confident girl of yours in those 17 years. I think as we grow older we’ve got more memories to fit in so it just feels faster and faster! Scary fast!

    ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

    Liked by 1 person

  21. It just flies by doesn’t it – my children are younger still but all at school and one of them nearly at senior school, and it seems yesterday she started in reception, all bunches and cuteness. I want to box up all these precious moments. Lovely post, thank you for sharing. #PostsFromTheHeart

    Liked by 1 person

  22. This is such a beautiful post, and although my son is just 3 and a half, I know the feeling (though can’t be compared to 17 years!!!). But time goes by so quickly, and they grow up so fast… you really do want to hold on to those precious moments longer…
    #coolmumclub

    Liked by 1 person

  23. You know I mean this is in the nicest possible way but I may have to stop reading your blog as I’ve just ended up in tears the last few times I’ve read your stunning words. Oh my goodness, this just choked me. So beautiful. Such lovely posts for your children to look back on when they’re even older too. That last bit…reminds me of the film Something’s Gotta Give. Remind me to elaborate when I see you this weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much lovely – oh please don’t stop reading my blogs!! I hadn’t thought about my children reading these posts when they are older but you’re right – will be a reminder for them for sure xx

      Like

  24. What a beautiful post!! Oh goodness its made me tearful…that really is showing my age!:) So well written and spot on, life just whizzes by and we have to make the most of it all.
    Mainy
    #BloggerClubUK

    Liked by 1 person

  25. oh my darling, I am in tears, this was exquisite! Raw emotion and such a vivid description. I know what you mean, I used to care for the elderly in my early nursing days and they would tell me such stories that I just couldn’t comprehend back then. And now, my almost teen has just started high school, I am 40, and I wonder where it all has gone. I am excited to watch her develop and grow, but I still remember those first moments of falling in love with her, my daughter, my amazing daughter. #mg

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Such a beautiful read Helen. time does go so quickly and I can completely get where Mabel was coming from now too. I just want time to slow or stop for a little bit. my son is only 3 but he corrects me when I call him my baby boy. he gets all funny about being called “baby”. #fortheloveofblog

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’m an emotional wreck at the moment as mine are getting older – it seems to happen so quickly and we have such a short while before they are gone – just feels very thought provoking all the time at the moment! Thank you for your comment lovely xx

      Like

  27. Oh that made me well up! Please, how do we make time slow down? Does it get faster and faster? It certainly feels like it. Tonight as I put my 2 year old to bed I cuddled her and looked into her eyes as she was laughing pointing at my nose saying “bogies!” (nice! her knew thing…) and I thought, bloody hell, where has my baby gone? Such a good post, as always xx #mg

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s