We’ve developed a bit of a new bedtime routine these days. After dinner, Cullen has his bath and gets in his jammies, and then Casey and I lay on the floor and let him play in his nursery until he seems tired. This is some of his best playtime of the day. He throws the ball and chases it, laughs as he plays peek-a-boo in the curtains, and meticulously sorts through puzzle pieces with a system that I can’t quite understand.
We were laying there the other day, watching him play and enjoying each other’s company, when my husband looked over at me and said, “no matter how many pictures and videos you take, you really just can’t capture this.” And he was so, so right. I’ve talked about it here before, but it’s a real struggle to raise a baby so far away from our friends and family.
During a baby’s first year, everyone tells you to soak it all in because it goes by so quickly. And it really, really does. It’s too quick for me, and I’m here every day watching and soaking. It makes me so sad that Cullen’s grandparents don’t see the little every day changes.The last time they saw him he was crawling and trying to master learning to stand. They will arrive tomorrow and be greeted by a little mophead who can literally run down the hallway now. And while of course they will be excited to marvel at all his new developments, they will have missed all the little moments in between.
I noticed today that Cullen’s walking has improved tenfold in just a matter of days. He can now walk all over the house without falling. He really only drops to pick things up, or occasionally if he gets going too fast and stumbles. Just a few days ago it was walk, walk, plop, walk, walk, plop. It happened overnight, and we were the only ones here to beam with pride as we noticed the improvements.
I know there is nothing to be done about it. We live here, and they live there, and I don’t see either of those arrangements changing any time soon. It’s funny how technology has brought us so far – Skype, Instagram, Facebook – they make us feel connected and like we are with each other in real time. And I often feel so connected to family and friends because of this. But looking at Cullen, I see how much is actually missing between what happens here, and what translates through technology. A video chat will never replace a real hug, and my Instagram feed doesn’t include giggles, babbling, and goofy faces.
My in-laws will be here tomorrow, and we’re traveling home to see my mom and sisters next week. I am grateful for the time that we do spend together, but I will always with that there could be more.
Read more from Emily on her personal blog Daily Garnish, where she creates healthy vegetarian recipes, recaps her latest running adventures, and chronicles life as a new mom to her son and two crazy dogs. You can follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest too!