Michael Phelps says this is his last Olympics. It seems like no one believes him. But I’m glad he’s telling himself that anyway. I’m glad he’s focused on savoring the games, that he’s taking the time to hear the cheers and to be touched by the amazing experience he is having.
I’m no world class swimmer. I’m not the greatest Olympian ever. I do not have a chiseled body. And I certainly don’t have millions of fans and admirers. But I feel like I can relate, in a small way, to Phelps’ situation.
Because maybe, just maybe, this will be my last baby. Maybe this will be the last time I get to cuddle with someone so tiny, so helpless, so dependent on me and me alone. Maybe I’ll never wake up with a start to go check on another baby, wondering why she hasn’t needed me to feed her yet.
And if this is my last baby, I should savor the experience. I should be here in the moment. I should notice the way she kicks and coos. I should let her be her little tiny self, and not wish her to be faster, higher, or stronger. I will, of course, look forward to getting to know her better as she grows, but I should take the time to get to know her right now, too.
Of course, she may not be my last baby. But in case she is, I want to know that I’ve absorbed the experience into my bones, into my brain, into my heart, into my being.