Last night, I realized that I couldn’t remember what my son’s newborn mewl sounded like. I was hanging out with a group of women, two of which had babies under 2 months old, and one of them let out that sweet cry that only newborns have. I was shocked when it was familiar, yet not the same as O’s. But I couldn’t figure out the difference—I couldn’t remember his cry before it changed.
This set off a tailspin of realization that those first memories are slipping further away. Sure, I’ll always remember that his nostrils were perfect little triangles, but it’s becoming harder to recall his wrinkled, old man face. His sweet newborn smell has been replaced by a stronger, little boy smell (complete with stinky little toes). His hands no longer curl around my fingers on reflex, but he makes the conscious decision to hold on. I have to push to remember how light he was at 9 lbs, and how little he was when he laid on my chest. Our breastfeeding relationship—something that is so sacred to me now, and I have no memory at all of his first latch. The hospital stay is becoming a blur. Photographs and blog posts are vital already, moments frozen in time to help me remember.
There is a silver lining to these fading moments. Those sleepless nights have been replaced with cuddles. The evenings of the dreaded screaming witching hour have turned into giggles and babbles as we read bedtime stories. If someone would have told me then that I would struggle to remember, I would have laughed (or probably cried, or become violent, or all three).
As each season wanes, new memories replace the old ones. New skills take over, new faces are captured, new words, new sounds, and it moves quickly. They tell you it’s quick, they tell you to cherish every moment, but you never anticipate just how quickly it goes.
So take a thousand pictures and a thousand videos of your little one because every day, those memories fade a little more—and they will become a treasure trove of the time your baby was still a baby.