When I wasn’t looking, my son colored all over the walls of the playroom. I walked in, saw his art, and said, “Did you do this?” He smiled, placed his hands behind his back and said, “Yes, I draw on the walls. It not nice.”
When I wasn’t looking, Monster snuck his finger under the rocking chair I was in, resulting in a lot of blood and tears. I felt terrible for days, especially when he told me, “I no like Mommy. I want a new Mommy.”
When I wasn’t looking, he pulled the pillows and blankets off his bed and fell asleep on the floor in his room. He was squeezing his stuffed puppy tightly when I peered in there to see why he was so quiet.
When I wasn’t looking, he put on my high heels and tried walking around our old apartment. He was bottomless, teetering on stilettos 3 inches above the ground when I found him.
When I wasn’t looking, he got sick all over his crib. He called out for me, lower lip sticking all the way out, and pointed to his messy sheets. He then jumped into my arms and cried himself back to sleep as I cleaned his tiny, feverish body.
When I wasn’t looking, Monster took off running in our neighborhood. He loves the way water runs down the street after a big rain, and he chases it from sewer to sewer all the way down the hill. I finally caught him and dragged him back to the car, where his baby sister was strapped into her car seat, ready to go to the store.
When I wasn’t looking, he outgrew his favorite pair of shark flip-flops. “I want my flippy-floppies,” he would say, searching for them in his shoe bin. They weren’t there, though. They were already at our local Goodwill, waiting for another little boy with size 5 feet.
When I wasn’t looking, my little man learned how to talk in sentences. One day, he knew his colors and a few nouns, and the next day, he was recounting to me the things he did with his friends at day care.
When I wasn’t looking, he climbed to the top of our bookshelves. “Mommy, look at me!” he called. Terrified, I cried, “No! Get down!” And in an instant, he flew off the bookshelf and landed in a pile of pillows he had made on the floor.
I saw him roll over for the first time. I saw him say his first word and take his first steps. I saw him walk into day care on his own, like a big boy. However, most of my favorite or more poignant memories have been the ones that happened when I wasn’t looking.
People always tell you that your kids grow up in the blink of an eye. I didn’t realize what that meant until now.