This is a collection of images from the last month before Zane turns one. Although most childhood development experts consider a person an “infant” until they are 18 months old, there is something about that stark, vertical line — 1 — that is so symbolic and undeniable. It is the signpost that marks the turn away from babyhood toward the next phase of life. Of course, he’s still a baby to me, but he is now a toddling, babbling, tantrum-throwing, solid food-eating, nighttime-sleeping type of baby. In other words, he’s becoming a person.
To hold both the elation of watching him grow and the devastation of knowing I cannot reverse it, simultaneously in my heart, is a difficult task. I love being a mother, and it brings me more joy than anything I have ever done. That doesn’t mean it always brings me happiness — that is something I have to create for myself — but it does bring me immeasurable joy, and my heart swells with gratitude when I think of how blessed I am to be able to share so many precious moments of my life with my children. I wish I could keep them small and close to me indefinitely, but that would deprive them of their own journey. Instead, I must helplessly, but with pride, watch them crawl, toddle, and then run, into the future, toward the next signpost.