Where did the time go? It's right here.

My son turned 8 months last week.

A friend recently asked me if I felt the time had passed quickly. I thought about it and, although I do marvel at how much Ethan has grown, time itself seems to move slower today than it did for me before I became a mom.

I think this is because I live more for the moment now. Before Ethan, I thought mostly about what I wanted to see happen tomorrow.

I wanted to earn a promotion at work. I wanted to have a baby. I wanted to undo past mistakes. As I entered my 30s, I mourned my 20s. I worried about turning 40 in a blink.

Now, as a new mom, I am weaning from my obsession with time. I laugh more. I play more. Whenever I start to get lost in my own head, my son brings me back to the present with a laugh, whimper or basic human need. His blue eyes widen and remind me how much I take for granted.

Ethan finds refrigerator magnets fascinating.

He cannot help but say "yumm" when he tastes bananas. The first time he discovered a world outside the car window, he squealed. When he sees another baby cry, his bottom lip quivers.

He laughs out loud when our dog licks his face. He smiles at strangers.

Shortly after his birth, I made up a silly song to entertain Ethan in the mornings. We go out to the back patio and I sing, "Good morning outside. Good morning to the leaves in the trees. Good morning to the birds that sing. Good morning to the yellow sunshine. Good morning outside."

I do this because it makes Ethan smile, but it makes me smile, too.

It's nice to pay attention to the simple things.

It's nice to look at life through the eyes of a child. After all, a baby never stops to wonder, "Where has the time gone?"

(Sarah Whitman is a married mother of a newborn -- soon to be a toddler -- and lives in Land O'Lakes, Fla.)

(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service www.shns.com)

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