i CAN wait.

I was sitting on the back porch about a week ago just swinging and watching the hummingbirds with Mercy, and I started thinking about how fast this time is passing. She was sitting up in my lap like a big girl giggling at Joe (the dog), and startling each time a hummingbird buzzed past us.

It was one of those moments that you just want to freeze and tuck away in a box so you can revisit it in the future.

I think I've had about a thousand of those moments over the last nine months...

This is certainly one of them:

...the first moments I spent with Mercy, and the first time she wrapped her sweet little fingers around mine. I remember that moment like it was yesterday. I remember thinking to myself, "I can't wait to bring her home and watch her grow."

Here's another one:

It came... the day we got to bring her home!! Big moment for us, I cried like a baby that day and I remember thinking, "I can't wait to watch her grow at home with us and see her little personality come out."

Over the last nine months, I've proclaimed excitement over so many future milestones.

I've said how much I can't wait for her to get some teeth! Not a thought of how I'll miss her big gummy smile...

I've said how much I can't wait until she can sit up independently or take her first steps! I didn't realize that would mean saying goodbye to many of our sweet snuggles...

I've said how much I can't wait to hear her first words! Her silly squeals and our times of quietness together will soon be long gone...

I can't wait...

I can't wait.......

I. Can't. Wait!!!

Well, friends... we're there.

I have a 14lb 13oz, 2'3 nine month old with two teeth and a board on Pinterest planning her first birthday.

This child is growing too rapidly and has more personality than any of us know what to do with... and what I'm realizing is this:

It's. Too. Soon.

It's too fast...

...and those sweet moments are flying by.

That first time she wrapped her fingers around mine, was I too busy thinking about what I couldn't wait for to appreciate that moment for the miracle that it was? Did I relish in her precious, tiny details enough when she was just a couple of pounds? Did I run my fingers across the silky soft preemie fuzz that covered her shoulders and back knowing I only had a few weeks to enjoy this sweet detail? Did I cherish each snuggle as much as I should have, knowing she would outgrow her desire to rest in my arms? Did I squeal with her enough, giggle with her enough, take in the sound of her soft breaths in my ear when she rests her cheek against mine? Have I treasured each smile and the newness of each moment with a grateful heart, as I know tomorrow will bring completely different newness?

Have I loved her enough right now?

...or have I been too caught up in what I can't wait to happen tomorrow to realize what a gift I have in her right this moment?

I'm working on changing my vocabulary. I must change it.

"I can't wait...?"

That needs to stop. It is kidnapping the precious moments I spend with my daughter, it is stealing the momentous miracle that each of those moments is... When it slips out, I just have to apologize to my sweet girl and tell her how much this moment means to me.

"I love you right now. I love what you're doing right this second. I'm so proud of you. These moments are such a gift, YOU are such a blessing to me today and I absolutely can wait!"

Remember when I said I couldn't wait for her little personality to come out?

Well that happened... but I think we'll be calling it a BIG personality!

As much as I wish I could put moments like this one in boxes and revisit them, I can't. They come and they go, and our little ones grow up just a little too quickly.

And you know what?

I think I can wait.