Tuesday, March 20, 2012

One Year

Dear Brown Baby,
Today you turn one, and I find myself at a loss for how this time has slipped away so quickly. It doesn't seem so long ago that we found out we were having a baby and now I look down, and you are running all over the house.
There was a time when I fully believed that I was finished having babies. I couldn't see going back to this place, this world of little sleep and constant need. But one day that changed, and I knew you were waiting to become a part of this family.

You are a spirited girl. You've taught me to be patient, to be flexible, to be responsive. I've become a better mom to all of my kids because of the presence you've encouraged me to maintain.

I've learned to slow down. I now know just how fleeting babyhood is. So I linger. I sometimes hold you while you nap, ignoring the dishes in the sink and the laundry piles, knowing all too well that soon, too soon, these quiet moments will only be a painful longing, a sweet memory.

You've united our blended family- you are the common ground, the link we all share. We find joy in you and your shenanigans; we exchange smiles, we share laughter. We have come to know a shared love that is often a challenge to achieve when you come from varied pasts. That may sound like a hefty weight for someone so small, but it requires no work on your part. It is part of the blessing of having you in our lives.
I often marvel at this chance, this privilege to be your mama. I look at you, see your round face, your sweet lips, your happy eyes, and I thank God for this second chance. I thank God that he brought you to us, that he knew that I wasn't finished just yet.

As we close this chapter of your life, as you say goodbye to babyhood, and you leap into toddlerhood, I am ambivalent. I miss the curled up, cuddly baby you once were, but I'm so in love with the floppy, independent toddler you are becoming.

Right now, you have given me a gift, a sweet glimpse at your younger days- you have nestled in for an unscheduled nursing nap. I sit here on the couch and take you in. Your even breaths, the weight of your head on my arm. There is no place I'd rather be, nothing I'd rather be doing than holding you right now, being your safe place to sleep.

Happy birthday, my sweet girl! I look forward to all of our adventures.

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