Today Kenna is 14 months old! I keep telling people when they ask her age "oh, she just turned one." But when I stop and think about it in months, I've had to realize that she was almost 14 month old! (She loves to put her little feet up on the high chair tray like this- she always either does this or swings and kicks them).
I've been feeling a little nostalgic recently with how quickly my little girl is becoming a little girl and no longer a baby. I can hardly seem to keep up with her clothing- it feels like on a daily basis I am setting aside clothes to hand down to her cousin and trying on three things in a row to find something for her to wear that isn't pulling a little to tightly somewhere as she gets so tall. Putting her in the bathtub yesterday, I looked at her in the same little duckie towel that she used for her very first bath so long ago (it's not in the pictures, but we used it- it was huge then!). I was holding her up to standing on the countertop because she loves to laugh and smile at herself in the mirror, and Matt came in and said "she looks so big!"
It's so easy with a little one to focus on the next big accomplishment (walking on her own) and each new thing that she's doing that she couldn't do yet just yesterday. So much focus is on the stages, looking forward, and commemorating the "big" things that we get all dressed up for and take pictures of. But especially as a stay at home mom, so much of what I do on a regular basis doesn't seem that important at face value... much of it is laundry or cooking or feeding Kenna, things that will have to be re-done each day and sometimes multiple times a day. Sometimes there's not always much that feels like it was "accomplished" at the end of the day.
So I took some pictures of her playing in the bath and with her towel, not because it was any kind of special moment or accomplishment (for her or me) or new stage, but because there will never again be a time that my little Kenna bear will be 13 months and however many days old, singing and smiling and handing me toys in the bath, looking in the faucet to see if the water will come out, and pointing at it to indicate to me that she wants it to. Next time, she will be 13 months and however many days old plus one, that much closer to 14 months... 15 months...
I think pretty much all moms can identify with the sort of unspoken bittersweetness of their child getting older. You want them to grow, to learn, to experience new things, and to have a full happy life. It has been one of the greatest joys of my existence, watching Kenna discover each new thing about herself and her world, more so even than I thought it would be. But at the same time, there is the little daily letting go of the tiny dependent newborn she was when I first met her. There is a sadness in the finality of who she is today and a joy knowing she will be just a little bit different tomorrow- and that being her mommy gets better and better each day! There is also a joy (and a little disbelief!) in knowing that each day brings us closer to shopping for her first school supplies, and then before I know it, shopping for her prom dress. It's crazy to think.
So, right now, being a stay at home mom with Kenna is my joy and privilege, a gift from God as I get the front-row experience of this wild and wonderful blessing that is my child.