There's always that seasoned assvicey mom who's within earshot of the poor, tired new mom and doesn't hesitate to tell her that she'll miss those sleepless nights, drool-ridden days, and all those confusing and frustrating moments in between.
"Give me a fucking break already," said my clenched-tooth smile and nod.
Didn't we all know at one level or another without some know-it-all mom politely informing us that we'd miss holding our tiny babies in our arms, or listening to their coos and giggles while they are happily strapped into a completely stationary baby bouncer?
It's fairly obvious that the baby months are fleeting, sometimes a complete and utter blur - for good reason - and the only valuable appreciation that we can really ever have is in hindsight. Sorry, but only a total nutcase sits lovingly with her colicky baby and says "God, I'll miss this."
It's not so much that I'd want to turn back to the time when she'd cry uncontrollably for no apparent reason or wake up every few hours to make sure I was indeed still sleeping in the rocking chair in her room.
Thankfully, those moments are part of our past together. I've passed the test and earned my stripes. And there's no way in hell I'll be calling for a "redo" anytime soon. Well, at least when it comes to Quinlan's baby years.
But that doesn't mean that I don't have these urges to freeze time. Because the only thing that moves faster than my daughter's mouth is how fast she grows.
Four years is high school, my entire undergraduate education, my marriage.
Now four years is an entire life that never existed four years ago. A life that is changing so rapidly that I find myself unable to keep up.
And I life that I love just as it is at this very moment. Uncomplicated. Creative. Innocent. Genuine. Intuitive. Patient. Caring.
But my daughter has come to show me that very little of what I worry about losing as she grows up has anything to do with her youth.
The beauty of her personhood has always been there, even when it could only be seen in her glances, wiggles, and cries.
And with age, I know that it will only continue to ripen, grow, and flourish. It's my job as her parent to make sure the beauty gets that chance.
Happy Birthday, Quinlan.