Today is Emma’s first birthday. I can’t believe that a full year has passed. I can’t believe that sweet little lump of a baby is a walking and talking (kind of) toddler. Of course moments like these lead to reflection.
Yesterday we dropped my brother off at the Denver airport driving home as our little aqua RAV4 climbed into the mountains, the sun slanting in through the windshield I asked my husband,
“So, Emma is one year old, so what do you think you have learned this year?”
“You mean about parenthood or just our year in general?” he asks for specification.
“Well, you know, like all of it…” I love it when I am articulate.
He launches into a rambling journey of observations about how much he valued community. Our friends back in Nairobi that brought us dinners after Emma was born, our friends here in BV who have received her so well and love on her. Our family who treat her like the treasure she is. He talked in and through these thoughts, and then we fell silent.
“You haven’t answered your own question.”
“What have you learned this past year?” I had already thought through this question, so I forgot to reciprocate. I perched my sunglasses back on my head as the sun disappeared behind a snow dusted mountain. I launched into the thoughts I had scrawled in a notebook the night before.
“I think for me it’s really been knowledge. I understand more how life works. More how human life works.” Having felt life grow in my womb and knowing the undeniable connection that I have with my very own daughter my understanding of humanity has been expanded like an exploding nova. I now have something in common with more women than I did before, we are all mothers. I feel more in touch with my own body than I ever have before, I know have this deep understanding of what it is capable of doing.
“And just the plain knowledge of a development of a baby,” how over the year a three month can probably sit up, with pillows, a six month old can do supermans on their tummy, a nine month old is probably crawling…we had watched the documentary Babies the night before…
“A year ago I wouldn’t have wanted to watch that documentary, nor would I have thought those babies were all that cute.” I confessed with a shrug. Scott smiled,
“I had that thought.” I hate it when he knows me better than I do. Or do I love it?
I think I understand sacrificial more than ever. What it means to give up what you want to do for the health and happiness of this little person. What it means to give up the way your body looks for a baby. What it means to give up sleep…
At the beginning of this year I was in shock over all the life changes that having a baby brought. Now I have adjusted to the new ebb and flow of life. The lack of sleep, the fact that just when you think you know what to do with your baby she changes on you, the daily emotional swings from joy and laughter at her new discoveries to burning aggravation when she crawls up my leg when I am trying to DO SOMETHING IMPORTANT. I fall more in love with her every day. I can’t wait to see what kind of person she becomes, but yet I love the baby she is.