Never before this past year have I been more sleep-deprived, vulnerable, uncertain, selfless.
Never before have I been more in awe, prouder, or loving.
Never before have I been so happy.
Thank you, baby boy (or big boy, I should say!).
Thank you for indirectly teaching me not only how to better love you, but to better love myself. You see, it’s tough for me to be too hard on myself when you’ve proudly proclaimed yourself as my biggest fan via hugs, kisses, and gazes of adoration.
When I question what you must see in me that’s admirable, I am reminded that I am capable of being loved. Though I don’t often doubt it, trust me, son, throughout this first year of motherhood, it was easy to want to succumb to a hesitant state of mind, but I never ventured down that path, if only due to your affirmations.
While you have been busy expanding your knowledge through sounds and colors, I have also learned so much about you, myself, and your Daddy this past year.
The day we brought you home from the hospital was exciting, but terrifying. For the first time in my life, I felt like I had no idea what would come next. I remember being so upset that breastfeeding wasn’t working out, and my eyes went blurry as I frantically tried to read the directions on the formula bottle I hadn’t planned to use so soon.
We didn’t sleep a blink that night, did we? Just like our two nights in the hospital. Did you have gas? Were you still hungry? Did you have a rash? Did you need me to change your diaper again? Why wouldn’t you accept being swaddled? Why did I keep trying? Do you have acid reflux like Daddy? Can you not lie flat? Why is this so hard?
The next morning, Daddy left for work. The previous day, Mom-Mom had offered to come down the next morning, and I told her to casually accepted and told her join us when she could.
Now, completely restless at 6:30 AM, I texted her: “Mom, I have no idea what I’m doing. Please hurry 😦 ”
Your Aunt Lauren visited that weekend too and it made me feel better to realize none of us were sure why you were so upset.
I never thought I would look back on that night now and smile. Poor you! I didn’t yet know “which cry” meant what. I’m sorry, son! I wish our first week at home had gone more smoothly but I just wasn’t the perfect mom then that I am now.
Just kidding, of course! You change with every minute. What I know right now won’t matter, at least in your case, probably tomorrow. But at least I can share today’s knowledge with another Mommy who may need it someday.
Thanks to you, I’m less selfish than I was the rest of my whole life. I still keep a sliver of selfishness in my pocket. Momma needs to spray tan every once in a while because she works from home and we don’t go out in July in the Florida heat much, do we? But Momma needs a glow. Thank you for understanding.
You’ve taught me the power of being a woman and a mother. You have shown me that I can be exceptionally patient, sympathetic, nurturing, compassionate, motherly– qualities I may have never used to describe myself before you came along.
I know I say the same to your Daddy, our dog, and my “adult” best friend, but you’re my best friend, little boy. I love spending time with you and sharing our little inside jokes. You have a little gleam in your eye and a side smile at the silliest things that indicates you’re going to be a hilarious little kid. I am so excited for that.
I know I tell you almost every day during our pajama time conversations, but I’m always going to be here for you, bud.
I thank God for you every night, and I pray that you’ll live the “happiest, healthiest, wealthiest, longest life you could ever imagine.”
Know that this is a vague wish for you– i.e. Should you always be wealthy if only in smiles, self-worth, and the warmth of your heart, I’ll consider my prayers answered.
Happy first birthday to my little Declan! Momma loves you more than you could ever know… except for maybe when you have a little Schmoosh of your own. I think that’s when it clicks. 😉