One year. 365 days of my darling little girl. 365 mornings of waking up to her smiling face. 365 nights of ridulously interrupted sleep. 365 sunrises, sunsets, midnights and afternoons.
When I waddled to Labor and Delivery this time last year, I was afraid I would be walking out again without my baby. I was afraid life would once again stab me in the heart and rip me to pieces. In that OR, there was nothing I wanted more than to hear that beautiful cry - that wail that reassured me she was alive, that I had made it, that I could create more than death. When that cry hit the air, my fear shattered against the walls of my heart and I felt the light start to seep back in. My world was more than remembering a lost child; it was discovering a living one.
That's what we really do when we have living children. We discover them. We learn their cries and their sounds. We understand their facial expressions. We learn their personality. Each day, each moment shows us something new...something to add to our growing set of beliefs about our child. Watching Piper discover the world - and herself - this past year has been the most beautiful experience of my life. I absolutely am so exicted to continue this journey of motherhood with her.
Something I have noticed about a lot of moms, is that there is a great deal of wishing their child would stop growing so quickly, that they would slow down, that they would go back to being littler. There are a lot of pictures of three year olds pic -stitched next to a picture of their three week old self with captions like "Where did my baby go?" or "He's getting too big! :(" And I totally realize that my view is completely skewed because of where I come from, but I just don't understand that mindest.
You are an active participant in your child's life. You have been allowed to watch them grow and change. You have been allowed to see them hone skills and develop a personality. You have the wonderful gift of having a child that grows! A child that won't stay a forever baby. You had a baby that will become a toddler, a kindergartener, a highschooler, an adult. That is nothing - nothing - to sneeze at. Nothing to take lightly. Nothing to wish away.
Yeah, maybe some people yearn for those simpler days when a boob and a blanket were all your baby needed, when the days of your maternity leave stretched out in front of you - full of soft, wrinkly skin and new-baby smell. That's a wonderful time. But, so is a few months later when she's learning to roll over and she discovers that her hands can actually do things! So is even later when she's figured out how to move into a sitting position - or how to hold her own bottle.
Watching Piper learn how the world works is amazing. Helping her learn is even better. She just learned to drink from a straw not too long ago. That first sip of water that made it to her mouth succesffuly caused her eyes to open wide. She swallowed with a satisfied smack of her lips and then opened her mouth for more. ""Ah-ahhhh!" My baby will grow up. Even now, she's less of a baby and more of an almost toddler. And I am not the least bit sad. Yes, all of her time as a tiny baby are just memories now, but that's ok. Because babies shouldn't be babies forever. Children grow. Children change. It's a wonderful and beautiful privilege called LIFE.
Today, Piper has been a part of this thing called life for an entire year. I am grateful for each and every second I have with her. Even when she's kept me up all night (for the 365th time in a row) or when she's made me completely question my choice in diapers....every day is a gift. She is my gift. She is my hope. She is my future. And I look with great anticipation of what she will be in the years to come. She will be smart and wonderful. She will be independent and curious. But best of all - she will just BE.