My baby is turning one.
It’s a big deal. I’ve been asked a few times if I’m sad or want her to stay my baby forever. If I miss the tiny newborn days already.
In short, nope.
I had prepared myself while pregnant to, “soak it all up.” Time flies, she’s only this little once, you’ll miss these days, soon she’ll turn one and you’ll want them back. I thought I was being so wise when I told myself to be sure to enjoy every moment. This will be my only first born newbornhood, I reminded myself. The only chance to lay in bed, napping and nursing and cuddling and “soaking it all up.”
Rosalyn, of course, had a different plan entirely. There would be no relaxing, no cuddling and especially no napping. There was mostly just screaming. Screaming and cracked, raw, bleeding nipples. No, I did not soak it all in. We were soaked through and I needed to be wrung out.
Right now though? Right now is the time for soaking. For bathing in the fleeting joy. There still isn’t much sleep, but now there are shrieks of laughter and learning how to pet the dogs and shaky baby sprinting into my arms. She is endlessly curious about everything around her. She dances wildly in the excitement of locking eyes with me at the end of the work day. She babbles endlessly, making bold declarations in what seems to be very important and serious gibberish. She stares holes into strangers at restaurants, and just before they become unsettled with the intensity, she quietly raises her hand and gingerly waves her fingers. They laugh every single time and my heart bursts at sharing her with the world. “Isn’t she incredible???” I want to say. In an effort to not look insane, I stuff the words down. When they open the door with a polite, “she is so beautiful/smart/cute/funny,” I immediately grin. Just as the sentence leaves their lips, I jump in with a slightly too loud and eager, “I KNOW RIGHT?”
I love her. Isn’t she incredible?? You see, it’s these days, this age, this oneness that I will look back on and miss so fiercely. Hopelessly and frantically grasping at time like water. As if I could cradle the ocean in my arms.
It seems we may have gotten it a little backwards, she and I. We didn’t have much magic before, but by God we have it now. One year old. She’s turning one and so am I. There is not an ounce of sadness in my bones. I feel pride and relief that we made it. We. Made. It. Someone hoist me up on their shoulders and cheer, why don’t ya? As we round out our first lap on the calendar, I’m starting to sense remnants and crumbs of the feelings I felt then. That’s where the sadness is. Back there with her, one year ago me. I’m so thankful to be out of that particular set of woods.
Happy first birthday, baby girl. Aren’t you incredible? These are the days I will miss, so let’s soak it all in.
Did you read Rachel’s last piece Touched Out, Talked Out, Everything Out?
Care to contribute a ramble about parenthood? Get in touch!