I’m having a hard time with my daughter, V, turning two. I’m really just not sure what happened to her infancy. I, of all people, should know. I am a stay at home, round the clock mama and I’ve been with her, barring a few hours here and there, for almost every minute of her life so far. Yet as I look back on pictures of her as a newborn, infant, and now toddler, even as I remember those moments and can conjure up the feelings I had during each of those experiences as a parent, I feel like it has been both an eternity and lightning fast.
What I am realizing is what all veteran parents, with grown kids, tell us “newbies”: “It all goes so fast..”
I’m thankful for many things in my life, and especially the opportunity to stay at home with V. We weren’t sure we were going to be able to make it happen; literally, my husband’s job offer came in when I was out on maternity leave and all the pieces came together. Though it was a major life shift to move away from family and friends, to leave a job and colleagues that I cared about, and to further cut our budget from tight to squeezed, it is times like these that I feel humbled by the gift of time I have with my daughter. I know not everyone is so fortunate. Indeed, my husband struggles with his time away from V and he has a family friendly schedule. I know being an at home mom isn’t every mom’s choice and as someone who wrestles with the financial pressures, the personal development, and socialization sacrifices that have come with giving up the outside workplace, I think that working or being at home is a very personal, very complex, very emotional decision that I do not judge any woman for making. But I am glad, looking back, to have been there with V. I don’t want to miss any of her life that I am privileged to experience.
There are no guarantees in life, only moments strung together on a fragile thread. So it is on my daughter’s birthday, the day I mark the most amazing and important experience of my life (aside from marrying my husband), that I fully appreciate those moments of motherhood. I now understand the significance of a birthday in a way that only a parent can know.
I love the joy my daughter carries with her. I love her humor, her eager mind, her astounding memory and quickness to learn. I love her feistiness and her loving, tender heart. I love all of her quirks and funny habits. I look back on the pictures of infant V, and I now know that I had no idea that infant would turn into this particular wonderful little person. I know we have only begun our journey of learning and growing together and I am eager to see how she develops over the years. I feel humbled to have been the person, out of all the women in the world, to be V’s mother. To me, her life feels like a miracle.
I know this is not the most articulate “blog post” I’ve written. I know that many of these feelings are so commonly experienced, that putting them down on paper feels like cliché. As a writer I understand that when one is feeling strong emotions, writing can sometimes get saccharin or overly sentimental. Today, I’m not worried about being the best writer, just an authentic one. I cannot express the crazy rush of love that is in my heart for my daughter. No poem, no prose, no tangible expression could ever be enough. She is in my soul. Happy Birthday my little love!
Linking up with Shell’s Things I Can’t Say for Pour Your Heart Out.