I would love to lie and say the past year has been nothing short of perfection and that motherhood met my expectations.
But the truth is, while there have been great times, it’s also been hard. A year ago, I could never have imagined the change a child could bring to not only my life, but to me as a person. There have been times this year, I have felt like a stranger losing so much of myself to give to this small human, and to still feel it’s not enough. I sit here tonight, and I wonder how I managed those first few days, weeks even. I wonder how on earth I knew what to do. I don’t recall preparing for it. I don’t think you can really. They said it, but until it happens you can’t understand it. I can barely understand it now.
Your natural instinct of mothering.
And you just DO. You look after, care for, and love this small person more than anything in the world and you just do. I feel overwhelmed by that. That natural instinct of love. It catches you a little off guard.
Elle fell asleep in my arms tonight, something she doesn’t do often (she takes after me that way – not a big cuddler), and I held her. I held her because now she is one. She has already lived a full year of life. A year we’ll never get back. She’ll never be smaller than she is right now again. And while it was so tough, this first year, and she challenged me, it was also insurmountably special. It was everything I never knew it would be. It went fast. It also went slowly. But now it’s gone. And she’s one and no longer a baby.
She wore skinny jeans and a grey jumper today and I saw her as a little girl, my little girl, but a little girl and not my baby. It makes me both happy and sad. It’s not likely I’ll have another baby, and while I don’t want to press pause or any other cliche, I just want to be.
So I held her as she slept, this little one year old of mine. This special miracle. This disruptor, challenger, feisty dancer. I held her because I still can. And I treasured her heart beating against mine as it is my greatest gift – her Birth Day.