Fia Turns 1

December 2, 2010

I’m sitting here surfing websites looking at a desk for myself, a stocking for Fia, where Ulaanbaatar is located…. basically anything to distract me from thinking about what’s coming up.

I’m not an overly sentimental person. The other day I went to toss out some of my husband’s old t-shirts. He stopped me.

“You know those are from when I was a kid.”

“So?” I replied.

“So, I want Fia to wear them someday.”

“Uh, okay….”

“You aren’t sentimental about anything,” he said, exasperated.

This same conversation occurred when I threw out some old journals and letters I had written to friends in college (not to date myself, but that was before we had email).

“Don’t you want to keep that stuff?” he said.

“Why would I?” was my reply.

So I find myself in new, unfamiliar, and even frightening territory as the clock ticks towards Thursday, Dec 2.

Deep Breath.

That’s when Fia turns ONE.

Exhale.

Why is this milestone so hard for me to grasp?

Is it because she gave me the hardest 4 months of my life, followed by the best 8?

Is it because I yearn for her like I’ve never yearned for anything?

Is it because I can’t even remember what life was like before her?

I’m used to being decisive, answering questions, taking action. And now, I find myself completely stumped.

Then there are the cravings. I crave her warm little body. I crave her snorts. Her laughs. Her hugs. Her smile.

I crave her essence and spirit.

It hits in a deep and primal way.

It is both gut wrenching and magical.

And no matter how much she satiates me, I crave her more. I want—and try—to eat her up.  Yet I’m never full.

Maybe on this Thursday I stuff myself silly.

I watch how in awe she is of herself when standing on her own two feet. Alone. And how proud she is when taking those first steps. Without my help. It’s a glimpse of what will become and I love it. I’m her biggest cheerleader. And yet, I can’t help but feel, well, sentimental. Sigh. And teary. Double sigh/sob.

Fia stands alone

Fia stands alone

What troubles me is time seems to slip away so fast and there’s nothing I can do about it. There are no boulders or dams big enough to stop the clock…and why should there be? This is life.  The last thing I want to be is indulgent.  I know how good I have it. I know how fortunate I am. How blessed. But this is my reality and how I feel. I can’t help myself.

Maybe this Thursday is about acceptance. And embracing what is.  That just one year ago this lovely creature was born into my world. When they put her in my arms I whispered, I know you. And now I realize I always have. And always will.

This baby girl—this almost 1-year-old—is showing me the time of my life. Who am I to ask time to stand still when I’m having the time of my life? I gotta buckle up and enjoy the ride. And I do. Small sob. And I will. Smaller sigh. Bigger Smile.

Happy Birthday, Baby.

——————————————————————————————————–

I asked a couple of my other mom friends whose babies are also turning 1 how they felt about this landmark. Here are their responses. Once again, their words comfort me and let me know I’m not in this journey alone.

From Stephanie:

To be honest I hate that Gracen is turning 1. I’m feeling very scared that time is moving so quickly; that even when I’m exhausted and need a break she is still the most important thing/person in my world. I keep thinking that when she’s 1 and 2 and older and older I will become less and less able to snuggle her and kiss her and keep her all to myself. What’s that called? Selfish I guess? Turning 1 feels so much bigger than 11 months; it feels like she’s not going to be a baby anymore and that’s hard because whenever I pictured myself with kids I always pictured a baby…so I haven’t written the rest of the story you know? Like what does 1 look like? What should I expect?

I’m happy that she’s made it to this day, I’m just sad that she’ll lose her baby face, her baby ways, her ability to remain perfect and innocent. Now I have to discipline her, worry if she’s learning at the correct rate, get her into a preschool. I think it’s hard because now I have to parent instead of just snuggling and making sure she doesn’t eat the plants. Which of course means as she grows and changes so will our relationship.

People tell me that it keeps getting better, and I don’t doubt that but I’ll miss my baby as a baby and I’m really glad I got to see all of her first moments because time just won’t stop and wait for me to emotionally catch up.

From Courtney:

I thought I was handling the milestone very well.  Overall, it’s really getting better every day as he gets older and more independent and more fun.  I am excited to see him get bigger and start talking and expressing himself.  But last night after I put Teddy to bed I started bawling to Brian about how someday Teddy would leave me (like, to go to college in 18 years) and how I could not handle that.

Then I said, “We have to have another one.  I’m too obsessed with Teddy, I need to spread it out more,” which of course freaked him out.  Clearly I am not as cool about the whole thing as I thought I was and that surprises me.

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