Parenting Paradoxes

I have been editing photos the past few nights, sorting through hundreds of images of the last several months:  Ellie in her pink teddy bear suit at the Christmas tree farm, our little family in front of the National Christmas tree, my little squirmer sitting still in the arms of her fragile great-grandfather.

These are sweet images, special memories, moments captured but fleeting.  Already, my baby is not really a baby.  She has teeth.  She's taken her first step.  She can feed herself. 

It goes so quickly, everyone tells you; enjoy it.  And it's true.  I know that I'll blink, and Ellie will be one year old.  I know I'll miss her at this stage, when she still occasionally falls asleep in my arms, when her world is so thrillingly fresh, when she thinks I'm pretty much the greatest person ever.

It is going quickly, but it is also slow.  The days at home, just the two of us, when I often don't even take out my camera because it all feels so mundane - those days are often long.  The introvert in me screams for more quiet moments than my power napper permits me.  Too often, I count the hours, the minutes until naptime and then until Daddy's return from work.

Life with Ellie is full, and this is both sweet and exhausting.  I must die to myself daily, but I receive the gift of participation in the miraculous blossoming of new life.