Okay, I've never seen Rent but everyone knows the song. Instead of measuring in coffee cups and so on, I suppose a new parent could measure in diapers, in loads of laundry, or in hours of sleep lost. Perhaps more positively, he or she could measure it in smiles, in kisses, in walks to the park, or in moments of sheer joy. But as the song goes, how about love?
All cheesiness aside (well okay, I can't promise all cheesiness), a baby's first year is quite something. For a while it felt like this day would never come (actually it's still two days away but I take my computer time when I can get it). I was holding my colicky baby (who screamed bloody murder if I tried to put her back in the stroller) and watching a toddler playing contentedly in the sand at the park and thinking, "Will she ever get there?" Of course, at the time, being a mom to a toddler seemed way easier. Oh, to be young and naive!
And yet now the year seems to have flown by. I sound so grandma-like but seriously, where did the time go? In many ways I couldn't be happier, of course. My girl is the cutest, smartest, most beautiful and charming kid that ever walked (yes, walked! I told you she was smart) this earth. I know every mom thinks that, but mine really is. I have loved watching her grow and develop, and I have loved building a relationship with her and as a family even more.
But of course there is some nostalgia for the time when she was nothing but a little ball of baby fat with a mohawk. My husband and I spent some time over the weekend watching home videos of her. We got the video camera when she was just shy of 3 months old--not a newborn anymore but still inmistakably a baby. We made sure we got some footage every month and on every special occasion.
In the beginning, we recorded a lot of her just lying in our arms or on the floor, with us trying to get her to laugh or sneeze or roll over or just "do something" for the camera. Sometimes she cooperated but most of the time she waited until we gave up and turned the camera off, after about 20 minutes. At the time we probably thought we'd edit all the "boring" parts out, but I'm so glad we didn't.
Man, you should have seen us as we watched those videos. Grinning like idiots for every uneventful minute of it. It wasn't uneventful for us, let me tell you. Every twitch--"See how uncoordinated she used to be?" Every look --"Wow, she recognized our faces even then!" Every coo -- "Her voice sounds the same but so different!" Every single little thing she did was mesmorizing. Why? Because we were watching our baby grow up. Shit, I'm getting teary just writing about it.
I know I complain sometimes (what parent doesn't?) but don't think for I second that I am not loving this. Being a mom is awesome, truly full of awe. I don't know how to convey it without resorting to cliches, and when that happens I have to think, hey, cliches come from somewhere. There is real truth to sayings like, "every moment is precious" and all that other sentimental stuff. I have been so magnificently blessed to have had a whole year of those moments, and I pray that I will have many, many more.
Happy birthday, my sweet baby girl.