Monday, December 12, 2011

Oliver: Then and Now

Over 5 years ago, I wrote this about our little toddler Oliver:
How long? Not very long. Weeks. A month or two. Then he'll be walking. Then, the gates we've erected to enclose him in the living room are going to be nothing more than punch lines. Soon, soon, he'll be walking up to us with the book that we absolutely must read to him at that very moment right there. Soon, we'll be watching him waddle down the aisles of the supermarket, through the doors of the coffee shops and toy stores. He'll walk to the elevator himself, press the buttons himself, and walk us, hand in hand, to the car.
So I remind myself to savor these moments. They disappear before I realize they're gone. I didn't realize until it was nearly too late that the days of bottle-feeding him were nearly gone, back at the end of June. And then it was the last two days that he'd get a bottle from me, and then it was the last day, and then it was the last bottle, the last time he sprawled on my lap to let me feed him. And then, there were no more left.

Bottles. Child-proof gates. Hah.

It just seems so silly to look back on those days, when he still wore diapers, when he still drank milk from bottles. Was that ever our baby?

Our baby - hah! - weighs almost fifty pounds now. He presses the elevator buttons. He not only walks into coffee shops by himself now, but he knows what he wants to order there. (No, he's not drinking coffee. Mostly, it's donuts and fruit plates and the occasional hot chocolate.) He picks out the clothes he wants to wear to school.

He's in 1st grade now. School has been a little bumpy for him - sadly, he inherited anxiety issues from both me and his mom, and we're dealing with that. It's been stressful, for all of us.

So sometimes, it's hard to remember the baby that he once was. And sometimes, that's exactly what I need to remember. This is our boy. This is the same little guy I used to rock to sleep with one arm, the same little guy who had to learn to crawl and then walk and then say words. He learned all that. So he's got other stuff to learn? We all do. We've gotten this far, together. We can get through our little challenges now, too.