Nearly one year ago, I sat down at my computer - late at night - and began typing. The house was dark and quiet and everyone was asleep, and I took the opportunity to expound on being a mother... a brand new mother.
(Please check out that May 2010 blog here).
I remember the feeling that night and the days before it - how I marveled at how much the leaves had budded, the grass had "greened," and the flowers had bloomed during my three-day stay at the hospital. So much had transpired in those three days. You could say both nature and myself underwent a magical transformation. After all, I arrived a hopeful mother-to-be; I left a mother.
Needless to write, this week I've felt a sort of delightful deja vu as I look around at the budding leaves, greening grass and blooming flowers. And that nostalgia is even sweeter when I look at the face of my now 1-year-old daughter, Grace.
Yep, Grace turned 1. And I know I'm not shocking a parent out there when I write... I can't believe how quickly this year has gone. It truly does seem like yesterday I was awaking to her newborn cries, at once both exhausted and elated with my new role. The first days felt like a beautiful dream; she was ours to keep - ours to love forever. But yes, I also remember - ever so vividly - living like a zombie, always craving more sleep... never feeling fully alert. But how quickly those first, sleep-deprived months passed, until one day, Grace not only started sleeping through the night - she started giving back - responding to her parents' and others' touch and voice. And then a few more months passed... and we could glimpse her young personality, so big within a tiny body. A few more months... and she continued to amaze us with her increasing understanding of the world and family around her. And then the final stretch to her first-year milestone... and Grace - the little being that physically arrived just a year ago - has truly arrived, in terms of personality and presence. Grace is among us, there's no question.
All that in a year. Wow. As a mother, I think there will be no end to marveling at how quickly your child grows. Also as a mother, I think there will be no end to how much your love for that child grows. Just when you think you couldn't possibly love your kid any more than you do, she goes and develops a personality that's absolutely irresistible. This motherhood thing - well, what a trip it's been... so far.
Now as for the first birthday party, Grace celebrated in style. Our extended family joined us for a day of too many presents for Grace (she lost interest after opening just one), too much sugar for Grace (she liked the cake, but interestingly, it was the chocolate ice cream she really loved - putting the entire scoop into her mouth at once), and too little sleep for Grace (we blazed past her nap-time; the result? She melted down a bit just when she was about to blow out her candle). In short, the day was perfect... exactly what a first birthday should be.
And now we're days into her second year... unbelievable. We're eagerly anticipating a year of so much more adventure... filled with first steps, more words and even more personality. I'm so excited.
But I do have to admit... I also wish there was a "pause" button for life. Because that night... when I crept down to the computer and typed away... well, that night feels like yesterday. I can only imagine that next year, this night, too... will seem like yesterday.
As for everyone out there... I do hope you're all doing well. I'm ecstatic that warmer temperatures are coming our way! So deserved. I look forward to another blissful Minnesota summer - a primary reason we live here, after all.
Until next time, please take care. Enjoy May! And in the words of Mike Wallace, "do well, and do good."