They all told me. Every parent I met from the day I announced my pregnancy all said the same thing- It all happens so fast.
And you laugh at that saying in the early days. The days feel like they drag. The monotony of feeding and clothing and cleaning, the sameness of every day. Yesterday was boring but busy, and tomorrow will be too. So you don't always notice. The way they lose their baby fat and grow tall and lean. One day you are sure you have a toddler, and then you turn around and realize there is nothing about your child that toddles. And then you realize that while you had been rolling your eyes at the platitudes of those who had gone before you, they were all right. Blink and you miss it.
When your child doesn't develop the way that others do, you tend to notice every milestone even more. For years my Diva Girl has been so very behind that every little step forward has been celebrated with great relief and joy. But even then, I feel as though I somehow blinked and she grew up. In some ways, I think I simply got used to things being a certain way with her- she was a bit wild and unruly and I accepted that. So as she began to tame, when she grew into this calm young lady, I missed it. I still looked at her as my wild woman. There were signs of maturity blossoming and I didn't see them. Or maybe I refused to see them.
And suddenly, I see her. My funny, beautiful girl. The one who sits calmly and looks at a book. Who sits next to me and tries to gently kiss her brother as he nurses. Yes, she still jumps like a bouncing bean when she's excited, but overall her entire demeanor has mellowed. She's growing up. And I am so very proud of the lady she is becoming. I see a more loving, nurturing side of her emerging. She has more consideration for those around her, a greater capacity for learning and following instructions...I'm amazed at how far she has come. To think that just over a year ago she would just as soon hit you as look at you. That is unthinkable now, and I am so very glad.
So, it's true. Those old ladies at the grocery store were right. They grow up too fast.