It’s 10 pm on October 10th as I write this. Tomorrow, my in-laws will arrive to stay with us for a few days to celebrate our daughter’s first birthday on the 13th. So, this is my last chance to have a moment to myself to gather some thoughts.
Just as I have been every single day for nearly the past two years now, I am so incredibly grateful. I live in gratitude day in and day out. I think that possibly one of the best parts about being an older mother is that I know how precious each moment is. Every diaper change, every early morning feeding, every laugh, hug, tear, and tantrum is something to be cherished. Time may be going by faster than I’d like, but my saving grace is living in the moment and savoring every bit of it. I hope my husband is, too. Sometimes, I fear I may be nagging him with my constant admonitions to put down his mobile phone and play with our daughter! I know he’s crazy about her (as she is him) but somehow, I don’t think he’s got the same urgency about “sucking the marrow out of life” that I do. I wouldn’t want him to ever look back on this time and think that he didn’t give it his all or enjoy it as much as he should. Chores, be damned! There’s a little girl who needs every ounce of attention and love we have right now. At this moment, we are the world to her… and as everyone knows, it won’t be this way forever. I want us to take advantage of this amazing blessing as much as we can.
Our little love bug is getting cuter and funnier by the day. She does things to make us laugh all the time. I don’t think I’ve ever known a baby to laugh so much. (Is it wrong that I secretly take credit for this?) I do believe, without making a judgment regarding anyone who does it differently, that my staying home with her — my loving being a mother in every aspect — my calm demeanor and my own sense of humor have a lot to do with the reason she is so relaxed and delightful. There is no doubt that she is one happy baby! And every smile feels like a personal triumph. It feels like I’ve more than done my job, but rather like I’ve answered a higher calling. Being a mom is who I was always meant to be. I have honestly never been so happy (or sleep deprived) in my life!
I just re-read that paragraph and I don’t mean to say that my child is perfect or never screams at the top of her lungs for… well, who knows why they scream?! She throws tantrums daily; tears stream down her cheeks at the slightest provocation: diaper change, the putting on of socks (!), if I’m a moment late to feed her after she’s already in her high chair. You name it. But she’s also super quick to laugh and smile and forget it all. I have become something of an expert at getting her to go from screaming to belly laughing in a matter of seconds. Hmm. I guess I am kind of feeling like SuperMom these days!
We’re having a family party for her on Sunday. There’ll be about 20 people, including her two Godfathers. I’ve hired a photographer to document it all so that I can enjoy the party myself without having to worry. I hope it goes off without a hitch (I’m thinking about you here, Mom.) Let’s just pray everyone behaves and remembers that my baby girl is the star of the day. Having said that, I still cannot believe she’s turning one! The other night I watched the videos from the night she was born. In some ways, it feels like a million years ago, yet in other ways, it seems like it just happened. I’m resisting the thought of her being a toddler. My father says she can’t be a toddler until she’s walking or “toddling” so… I think I’ll go with that convenient definition for now.
I love my little girl in a way and to a depth that is impossible to describe. I can hardly comprehend it myself. She holds my very life in her tiny, precious hands — mine, and my husband’s… and probably my father’s, too. As always, I truly hope she knows how much she is loved… although, I suspect that she won’t fully grasp how we all feel until she has a little one of her own someday. I look forward to being the kind of grandmother to her child that I always wished I had. Happy Birthday, baby girl. Daddy and I are so in love with you.