They’re the best ones.

You know how sometimes something someone says just sticks with you? My uncle bought us a Gathre mat from our baby registry. With it, he included a note that said something to the effect of “Enjoy these years. They’re the best ones.” I remember thinking that it was sweet, as he has grown children and now a grandchild and how it speaks volumes about how he views his time with them.

I’ve kept those words with me as we settle in to parenthood, wondering if they would feel true as I lived them or only so later in life, when looking back with rose-colored glasses.

I’m happy to report that sometimes when you’re in the sweet spots of life, you just know it. It’s an interesting feeling to know that each day, each smile from your child, when your beloved pup licks your little boy’s hand and he squirms and squeals, or every time your husband bounces the baby just so and he falls into a sweet slumber, that those tiny moments are it. They’re the good stuff of life. They’re the things you’ll look back on at the very end and feel your heart fill up all over again.

There’s a weird stress to it too. Like when you just know you have a really good thing and it won’t be this way forever (because that’s just not how life is) and one day he’ll be a threenager and later a teenager and things just won’t be this good.

One day life will feel hard for him and it will be a really big thing to make him smile. Some day he’ll get his feelings hurt. Some day he’ll hurt someone’s feelings. Some day happiness may not come this easy to any of us. Babies are such blank slates. Ben still hasn’t done a single thing out of ill-will. He’s just this beautiful little person who we get to love on and care for and watch as he learns and grows.

He discovered his hands a few weeks ago. His hands! I don’t remember when I learned that my hands were my own but these last few weeks, as Ben thrust his hand in his mouth repeatedly, intentionally, I was absolutely dazzled. He’s got hands! I made those hands and now my son is here, using them and wow! He’s becoming a person right before our eyes. It’s a remarkable experience, truly.

It’s beautiful to be in this part of life. It’s scary too. But in the moments when I just think “it can’t be this good forever” I also think “but it’s just so good now”. And I try to carry that with me.

Here are a few more photos, for good measure.

My favorite picture ever. Of all time. Taken the day after we got home from the hospital.

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