Tuesday, February 23, 2016

One

Charlotte--tomorrow you turn one. I honestly do not know how time has gotten us here so quickly. But sure enough, here we are. One year ago I was sitting in a hospitals bed cramming as much ice cream in my mouth as I could. I had given sweets up for Lent but said I would stop when you were born because I figured I needed to eat anything. Thanks for coming early--I only had to do without for 5 days! Right now, a year later, I'm rocking you, my precious one, as you sleep in my arms. I never knew, even on that night when I was so excited to meet you,  how much I would love you. I don't know that any first time mom can truly understand the amount of love that you feel the moment the doctor hands you your precious child.

 I love you wholly, completely, and without any contingencies or exceptions. It's a weighty kind of love--I can feel it. It consumes me, covers me, fills me. It's a special love that I didn't even know I had: it is just for you. 

You haven't made it easy--you do everything your way, not the way the books say you should (although you follow those wonder weeks to the letter--go figure). You have just now decided to try sleeping through the night. You refuse to eat left overs. You hate being restrained so car rides and even mealtimes can be challenging. I have never in my life been as tired as you have made me nor as frustrated, but all the while, even when I've been at my literal wits end, I have loved every minute of being your mom and having you as my daughter. 

You are already an individual--your own person. You do things on your time and in your own way. I love seeing you discover things and learn. You are independent and daring. You are silly and sweet and so so smart. I am truly amazed by all that you know and understand. You are so much fun to be around and your giggle is infectious and your smile melts my heart. 

You have changed me in ways that I never imagined were possible. Not only do I now know that lack of sleep will not actually kill me (it might feel like it but it won't) I know that I can do and will do just about anything for you--no matter how hard or out of my comfort zone. This is because of that love I was talking about before. It has changed me. I'm a little less selfish, and a lot more patient because of you. Instead of freaking out because my perfect plans are ruined, can now just laugh and say oh well. That dinner can be made tomorrow and we can eat frozen pizza tonight. Those clothes can stay in the dryer another night. Those emails can be sent in the morning. Id rather be playing with you or rocking you back to sleep than doing any of those things. Those things don't matter--but you do. I hope you know that it's these little moments that I will treasure and hope that I remember forever. Singing "the wheels on the bus" or "head and shoulders"  20 times in a row just because you love them. Letting you throw my shoes all over the closet or tear up my perfectly organized make up drawer just because you have fun playing with mommys things. Playing on the floor with your blocks and cups. Watching you throw all the books on the floor and then picking one and crawling up into my lap to have me read it to you 5 times in a row. These are the little moments that make up our time together but they are the ones that mean the most to me. I don't think that the catherine I was before you would have been able to slow down enough to see the preciousness of these little times but I'm so glad that the 
catherine that you have made me truly
does. 

My wish for you, my little bunny, as you start this next year of your life, is that you are able to experience as much as you can. I hope you get to see and hear and do every good thing. I hope you are safe and healthy and blessed with a guardian angel to follow you and keep you safe when I'm gone. I can't wait to watch you walk and hear you really start to talk. I'm excited to see you make friends. I know you are going to have opinions and thoughts and I will love it when we can talk about them. Today though, be little. As much as I am excited to see you grow I want to hold on to your littleness for as long as I can. Cherish it, keep it, hide it away. I thank God for every day with you--all of your little ways--for choosing me to be your mommy. Thank you for being the most wonderful baby girl. I love you sweet baby. 

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