Tuesday, April 20, 2010

One year later

A lot happens in your first year as a parent.

You go from two separate people, living independently, to a family of three, living completely dependent upon each other. You change your life, your hair, the way you drive, the food you buy, the books you read, the way you think, the way you judge, the way you love those around you. You think you know what it means to be a parent, and then it happens to you and you realize you don't know anything.

You are scared, giddy, helpless, tired, and more committed to this tiny being than anything else in your life. You think you know how it's going to feel, what your life is going to be like, how your friends will react- after all, it all looks so glamorous on TV and in other romanticized blogs. But until you've stayed up all night making sure your baby is breathing, or burst out crying for fear that you are doing everything wrong, you really don't know.

In one year we have learned to trust God with our lives, and the life of our sweet baby girl; we've learned to love unconditionally; we've learned about what it really means to doubt yourself, and how to hang on to some little bit of yourself when you've only slept two hours and haven't had a real conversation with your spouse in days.
You learn you are the single luckiest person in the world because you have been graced with a little girl who thinks you are the best possible version of yourself. She reminds you of life's real joys, and the power of a smile.

You wonder how you used to spend your days, and what your child-less friends are doing, and then you look at that face and wonder how you ever lived without it.

You realize that every.little.thing you do and say is shaping this little girl's thoughts, feelings, opinions, and then you realize that every little thing she does is shaping yours.

It's not about the dirty diapers, or the nights spent rocking a sick, crying child.

It's about engaging in and cherishing every single moment. It's about the pumpkin patch, her favorite stuffed animal, reading bedtime stories, a sweet hug after a really long day, swinging at the park, singing, playing, talking, and laughing.

In your first year as a parent you learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible. You learn that it's not only worth handing your entire life over, but that it's an honor that you get to spend every day with this amazing little girl. And that on her first birthday, the best gift of all, is her.


Kristin said...

I am seriously crying right now. Madelyn is lucky to have you as her mommy. And, as I've told you a million times, you are lucky to have such a beautiful, sweet, good natured baby girl (please let me know how to conceive that when it's our time). :) Love you and can't wait to celebrate on Saturday and chow down on brunch and chocolate cupcakes!

Michelle said...

This is seriously the most beautiful thing I have ever read! I am totally crying and just read it to Ian and had to stop about 20 times just to make it through! Happy 1st birthday! Thank you for sharing!

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