It's 5:30am. It's Saturday. I'm on vacation
Three very valid arguments for the fact that I should be sleeping.
... But I'm not. I can't.
I've been awake for a while. Maybe an hour, maybe two. I woke up originally with a burst of creativity and a project that I just *had* to get done right away for Kennedy's birthday.
Kennedy's birth... day....
As I was cutting and measuring away in the early hours (no one should ever be awake at this hour... especially on a Saturday... especially on vacation... especially ME... but I digress), it started to hit me. I pushed it aside and kept Martha Stewart-ing away. When I finished, I made a cup of coffee and headed to the nursery. I started putting away the pile of clothes and diapers that I neglected last night, but before long I found myself sitting on the recliner, with Kennedy's baby book in my lap.
How is it possible that she is turning one already. How?? I'm not ready!!!
I stared at the pages full of facts and firsts. She was born at 9:46pm, I remember it like it was yesterday. She weighed 8lbs 10oz and had a head full of dark hair. She was beautiful and perfect. She still IS beautiful and perfect.
I held her coming home outfit in my hands and marveled at how tiny it was. How tiny she was (even though 8lbs 10oz is hardly a tiny babe at all) when she wore it. It is just a simple white sundress with tropical flowers. I picked it out as my one "girl" outfit, since we didn't know whether we were having a boy or girl. It was way too big on her, but it was such a pretty dress I wanted it to be the one she wore home anyway.
This past year I have learned so much about her. She does not like to sleep alone, not even for a nap. She loves baths, loves Finding Nemo, loves to "read" (flip through her board books and yell), but doesn't like to be read to. She loves french fries and Dunkin Donuts hash browns, something I am not crazy about. She is super smart, signs "milk", "more" and "puppy"... and equally curious, always finding new things to stick in her mouth or dump in Lucy's water dish. And Lucy, oh my gosh she LOVES Lucy.
She is my baby girl. She will always be my baby girl.
But my baby girl is growing up.
There is a famous quote by Rajneesh (no idea who that is, but s/he had a way with words) that goes... "The
moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed
before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is
something absolutely new"
I have never really considered myself an emotional person, but ever since this beautiful little girl entered my life, I have become a new person.
I have found myself often overwhelmed with emotions (case in point: the fact that just typing out that quote had me in tears). I cry at nothing, at everything, but mostly I cry over her. Happy tears, sad tears... usually a combination of the two. I cry when she does something for the first time or when I think it may be the last. Or lately, I cry when I even think about her doing something for the last time... like say "ma ma" or whine for me to pick her up. I wonder how much longer she will want to cuddle in
bed with us. How many more nights she will fall asleep nursing and reach for
me in the middle of the night. How many more sweet baby giggles I will get. I wish this phase could last forever, but I know these baby days are numbered.
I have been writing weekly updates and snapping pictures like it's my job since she was born. I wanted to record and remember every single little thing she does. You see, I have this fear of not being able to remember things. Dementia/Alzheimer's runs in my family and at work I see patients all the time who cannot remember things or even worse, people. My husband jokes often that I have the worst memory in the world and while it's a bit of an exaggeration... I'll admit that I am quite forgetful. I don't care if I forget that the laundry has been in the washer for 4 hours, I don't care if I remember to send the electricity bill on time (although I probably should), and my phone an car keys could seriously use some sort of tracking device... but I do care that I remember these precious days with my baby.
I know I will remember the milestones, the birthdays, the special occasions... but what about days like today. Today, a random Saturday... the day before her birthday party and two days before she turns one. Today is not a momentous occasion. It's not her birthday yet... according to the calendars, it's really just another day. But I want to remember today. I want to remember how peaceful she looks laying in her daddy's arms, with her puppy at her feet. I want to remember the faces she makes in her sleep and how she reaches to hold onto my finger when I touch her hand. I want to remember forever how absolutely heart-burtsingly (yep, that's a word) amazing it feels to be a mommy... to have a baby.
So when I finish writing this post, I am going to sneak back into my bedroom and watch my sweet baby girl sleep. I am going to soak it all in, commit every moment to memory. Memorize her sweet face as she dreams about milk and her puppy (what else do babies dream about, right?)... I'll laugh as she makes funny faces and sleep eats. I will play with her tiny fingers and smile as they grasp mine; even in her sleep she holds on tightly to my hand. I'm going to run my fingers through her hair and remember how baby soft it is.
Every day I get to spend with this little girl is a special one. Every day I get to be a mommy is a day I never want to forget. The days of her being my sweet little baby are coming to an end soon... how soon I don't know, but right now all that matters to me is that we have today. Today she is still my baby and today, I will remember. Forever.