I’ve had a busy weekend and didn’t even check my email until now, Sunday night. Unheard of! All three of us are sick, stuffy, and miserable, and one of us also seems to be teething, drooling heavily and complaining loudly at all hours. So, we’ve not had a lot of sleep around here.
But – it was also a major milestone on Friday. My Baby J’s first birthday! One year since he came flying into the world, as anxious to meet us as we were to meet him. Even in his sad state right now, he’s made this last year the best roller coaster of intense love – a wonderfully steep learning curve.
I’m thankful for this, and for so many other things.
The first few days
I’m so glad everything worked out, after bed rest and the threat of prematurity, to a quick labour, and the time we spent at first in the hospital figuring things out. Those first few days knowing that you’re fully responsible for this little, quietly breathing being and life will never be the same no matter what happens.
How far we have come
I realize now I really knew very little about raising an infant. But I was determined to learn and read a lot, tried things, was as relaxed as I could be, and I think we did a good job. We have a happy, pretty healthy baby and I hope it’s a good sign that we will be able to handle the challenges that I’m sure will come up in the years to come.
Someone to sing to
The early days are hazy, all wrapped up in healing and growing to know this little soft lump of sweet smelling skin and floppy limbs. The funny crossed eyes, orange hair sticking out every which way. We spent a lot of time snuggling, sleeping, and singing. I loved rocking and crooning and just marveling over the little miracle we were blessed with.
One of the songs I sing to him quite often is Danny’s song – I know the Anne Murray version – so we recorded it for him on his birthday.
His little arm around my neck.
We filmed the video while Baby J was napping, and then I played it for him once he woke up – his Daddy already gone to an early gig – and as we watched, I felt his arm creep around my neck. I’m thankful he will stop and be affectionate (we watched the video 3 times) even though he’d rather be running around.
Getting some ME time
I took the day off on Friday which ended up being a good move considering we were all sniffling, grumpy zombies all day. On a whim, I booked a haircut and got out for a trim. I felt a twinge of guilt not spending the entire day with Baby J, but it’s this balancing act of making sure I’m happy and fulfilled too so I can be a better mother. I gabbed with my stylist about labor and parenting and was home in less than an hour feeling re-energized.
Fitting him in
A coworker explained to me once that he liked exposing his kids to everything and bringing them along everywhere – he wants them to fit into their life, rather than making a life based on the kids interests and needs (within reason, of course) and this idea appeals to me. We like taking him out for sushi, going to see music, and I’m glad I can work as well as be a mom. I”m sure it’ll be an ongoing struggle but for now, I hope we can keep fitting him into our lives and everyone staying happy.
I love that he needs me. I know it’ll be my job to teach him how to be a good human being, but for this first year, I’m thankful that my role right now is to just take care of him. Make sure he’s clean and happy and fed, and as the time passes, the rewards come, starting with that first responsive smile to saying “mama.”
I was thinking about the words I’d use to describe my little guy, and curious is one of them. He gets into things but stops to examine and taste and touch and check again. I’m thankful he is eager to explore his world and that I get to see it.
Helpless, infant days are behind us and while I’ll miss them, this is more what our lives will be like – working and balancing, rather than me being off – and it’s so fun to see him play and pick things up and try to express himself. I love this stage and I hope I’ll love every stage as they come at us.
The last few days
I’ve felt a bit desperate at moments over the last few days – usually in the wee hours when I just don’t know what to do – and it makes me thankful that we had such an easy baby overall. It also makes me glad that we’re a good team and are able to switch off one person getting some extra sleep while the other takes baby duty. And, despite the foggy tiredness, I’m thankful I have a sweet baby to rock and clutch close to my chest, and whisper to. Not everyone gets that chance, and I would never trade what I have for anything.
That’s it for this week! Tomorrow or the next day I’ll have a recap about the big birthday party we had this weekend, but for now, a little Sunday night reflection on the last year feels nice. Thanks to Lizzi and Louise for the inspiration and the others with great lists as well.