Happy Half Birthday, Minnow Mae

Six months. She is six months old today. Meadow Mae, the last of our babies is almost not a baby. I blinked and the entire first half of her entire first year has vanished. It feels like she’s always been with us, the perfect little addition to our imperfect little tribe. It is unimaginable to think of us without her.  My sweet little miss Meadow Mae with her 6 month-old giggles and adorable mop of dark hair. I don't know how it went so fast. I don’t understand how time speeds up exponentially with the more children you have. She still takes her naps on me, she always has. With her tiny, little face next to my heart. Every single day for six months I've seen that view. Her baby hands lay on my chest. Each day they get bigger. Each day I beg her to stay little. Each day she is more Meadow than she was the day before. Happy. Sweet. Beautiful.

It seems my first son, Daniel, made time screech to a halt. We anxiously waited his arrival, simultaneously terrified and excited. Time stopped when he was born. An unimaginable break in the space time continuum that changed our lives forever. It was the first time in my adult life that I didn’t go to work. My entire job was to take care of this little human and I had barely learned how to take care of myself. I did all the things I thought I was supposed to do. I made baby food, taught him sign language, read books morning noon and night. And although I was ticking off all the boxes, I wasn’t truly stopping to enjoy the time. He hit all of his milestones ahead of schedule. We would tick off the box and move onto the next one. We encouraged, celebrated, and rushed him quickly through his first year. I am still so sad about that.

Then we added an Everett, our second son, and again we measured his milestones. This is not a great thing to do when your big brother hit all of his months early. And just like Everett does now, he did everything when he wanted and how he wanted. So he rolled over months after his brother did. He barely spoke a word until he was 18 months. Refused to walk anywhere. Refused to learn sign language. We were scared something was misdiagnosed. We took him to speech therapists and doctors. We scoured every book we could find. And just in perfect Everett fashion, he would hit a milestone as soon as I had made him yet another doctor’s appointment to check his progress. He has always been his own little person.

And then came Meadow. The sweetest of sweet and she turned all of us into the mushiest of mush. And right after her came the decision that our family was complete. And again time came crashing to a halt. This perfect little marker of time taught us to finally enjoy these moments instead of measuring them. We stopped rushing her to the next step. We stopped wondering when she would roll over, reach for food, or sit up on her own. The moments became more pure, sweeter somehow as we knew this was our last babe. We became less anxious and happier to just spend the days together. We noticed a few weeks ago that she was starting to show interest in food. My husband mentioned he could stop after work for some bananas to start her on her food journey. I begged him for one last week. I just needed one more week to before that milestone. To hold onto my last baby. I cuddled her extra close. Stroked her hair as she napped on my chest. Laid down with her to rest at bed time. We talked and cooed. Her brothers read her extra books. And then when we were ready, we pulled over her high chair for the first time. She was so happy to join us at the table. Naked and covered in banana, she just smiled at everyone. She was ready. And I finally was too.