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When my husband and I (along with our new baby girl Dylan) lived in the West Village, we had these nice neighbors named Barbara and Arthur. Barbara and Arthur had two kids (in their early and mid 20’s).

One day I noticed a large group of women convening at their home. I asked Barbara, “What’s the occasion?”

“The 25th anniversary of my daughter’s first playgroup!” she replied.

“Gosh, that is so nice! How wonderful that you all kept in touch,” I said.

But I also thought, “25 years?! That’s crazy!!”

I had my own moms’ playgroup at that time. Our babies were a few months old and we would convene once a week to let them roll around while we obsessed over whatever baby issues were overwhelming us…. eating, sleeping, nursing, not nursing, taking a pacifier, not taking a pacifier, and everything else that seemed to go with these little strange beings.

Dylan baby playgroup

Having your first baby is a blip of time that seems like it will go on for a million years but it’s really 3 seconds. You live in some weird time capsule, where you see other people go on with their normal lives but yours is just a replay of the same day… nightly feedings, lack of sleep, changing, more feeding, argument with your spouse because of lack of sleep, repeat.

Your past life is gone and you don’t understand how to navigate your new life.

But this ridiculous passion you have for your baby keeps pushing you along, nudging you ever so slowly back to a life you sort of recognize but is still forever changed.

Dylan baby in Florida

And that’s why you need the playgroup. Because the only moms who really understand at that moment are the ones right there. They will calm. They nod knowingly. They laugh along with you. You’d look at one of the moms and think, “Why is she so obsessed with strollers? She should be obsessed with sleep. Let’s talk about sleep. Why is my baby not sleeping?!!”

Then the babies grow. They become toddlers who become preschoolers who become elementary school students.

You have a living reminder of the years whisking by.

And one day, you look at your baby and she is turning 10. Ten. And you know it won’t stop there. Ten will turn into prom dresses which will turn into high school graduations which will turn into college diplomas.

My daughter Dylan will soon be ten.

I wish I could go back in time for just a moment, to experience the magic of her baby-ness. To hold her in my arms and press my lips to her incredibly soft cheeks. To just for an instant experience that moment when I couldn’t even imagine she’d talk to me one day, let alone turn into a beautiful, sensitive, creative, loving, amazing 10 year old girl.

And yet she did.

dylan turning 10

I still keep in touch with many of the women in that playgroup from so long ago. We shared something that I will forever hold with me. That first time mom thing. When life became a blur of love and care taking and nightly feedings and fatigue. When a baby sleeping in my arms made me feel like a superhero.

dylan baby sleeping

20 Responses to ten

  • Susan Kintner says:

    Oh Kelcey, you made me laugh and cry and love. I have watched you both grow and look forward to whatever lies ahead. This is beautiful and so is Dylan. love, mom

  • Lauren says:

    This really touched home with me. With my first, I couldn’t wait until he reached all his milestones, walking, talking, etc. Now my third baby just rolled over and I’m depressed because I know how fast it goes since I have all the care taking of the other 2.

  • Happy birthday Dylan! And happy ‘birth’ day mama bird. Such a beautiful post of a special time in your life. Dylan will feel so loved when she reads through this years from now, as she’s holding her own baby. (I know … I just added to the depression of time flying way too fast!) xoxo

  • Beachmom says:

    πŸ™ thanks for ruining my morning make up…so beautifully written and poignant and I totally get it….I would love to go back too. My 3rd grader announced this morning that I would hug her in the school parking lot and I was not…repeat not…hug her after morning assembly. I could wave at all…a quick wave..not a crazy mom wave but I was not to come over and hug and plant sloppy kisses on her!! so I did what she asked as I felt the little chips of my heart fall to the ground…so hard to see them growing up. Happy happy 10th birthday to your beautiful daughter – looks like you are doing a great job mom!

  • Johanna says:

    Playgroup was like free therapy where you could go in yoga pants and a pony and come out feeling so much better and connected! I guess It really is true…you blink and they are old. Putting my second and last baby on the big school bus this year for full day kindergarten almost killed me! I want more days of sleeping on my chest on the couch all day!!! But on to new adventures for us all πŸ™‚ you have quite an adorable one in that sweet face!

  • Steph says:

    Love her baby dimple! My “baby” is turning 11 this week. Oh how I miss the chubby cheeks and downy hair! Happy Birthday to beautiful Dylan!

  • ErinB says:

    It’s almost unreal isn’t it? 10!! It’s been a joy seeing her grow up, first as your friend then as a reader. You have done such a remarkable job respecting her personality and individual needs and letting her soar. Looking forward to the next 10! Xo

  • Misty says:

    That’s so cool… You should go back to NYC and do a “group reunion.” πŸ™‚
    But 10!?!?!? I still remember when you were looking for a school for her and ran into Paul Rudd. (right? Isn’t that what happened? Orientation or an interview or something, and there he was doing the same thing?) That feels like a few months ago, not years. (though I know it is because you guys aren’t even there anymore.)

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kelcey kintner