Homegrown with Hope: They grow up too fast

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We whisper the words "stop growing" to our babies so often. We threaten time to slow down.

They do grow too fast. Infants will gain up to an inch every month for the first six months, and up to a half-pound every week.

So, no. We don't get enough time with them in each stage. Even when the nights are so long you think the morning may never come, even when patience has been tested to its limits, it's not enough.

We say the words. But we don't really mean them, because the rolls on your thighs, and strength in your neck, the magic of your hand wrapping around our finger is worth the price we pay in time.

The truth we hate, and we love, is that we have to let you grow.

Then, all of a sudden, you do.

You're on your hands and knees, teetering on the edge of the rest of your life.

Before we know, it's time to take the gates down and watch you climb the stairs.

We wonder when you figured out how to climb up next to Grandma.

Time doesn't slow down, even for someone as perfect as you.

You'll lose your first baby tooth and welcome your first baby brother. You'll catch your first fish, posing proudly with the joy of what practice lies ahead of you beaming from your face.

The first will keep coming.

You'll sound out your first book, quietly determined to learn the world's lessons. Someday, in what we hope is the distant future, you may even pass your driving test. You'll take your first big leap out of our nest.

Yes, you grew up too fast. Even though you haven't even grown up yet.

You reach one hand in front of you, concentrated and confident. And, there it is. There you go.

I know what they say, that you'll crawl before you walk. But, this feels like it's coming at me at a spring.

I'll run alongside you because I see now, we don't get to make a moment last forever. We only get forever in a moment.