This was her photo from last year’s birthday party.
This was her photo from year one. I started blogging 3 days before her first birthday.
The photo to your right was taken a few days ago at my mom’s house. I can’t get over how big she looks. When I was childless, I used to hate it when people would say that about their kids. I was disgusted at how adults would melt into putty over a drooling infant. Now I’ve become that person.
When she was a baby, each time she learned how to do something like wiggle her toes or wave, I would joke, “Hey, its like she’s a real person now!”
I don’t think I can joke about it anymore. She’s more than a real person. She’s a laughing, screaming, arguing, opinionated, creative, spirited, hilarious little girl.
My job as a mom is more than just the care and feeding of a child now. I cannot bumble through motherhood in a mindless, sleepless haze anymore. I have to be on my toes. Her wit is razor sharp, and I’m starting to be at a loss for words when she asks me specific questions. I have to think harder, move faster, react quicker and plan further ahead.
I’m constantly surprised at the range of emotions I experience every day. From pure terror to spasmodic joy, I’ve started to realize that I’m just along for the ride. I have no real control over the budding personality that my daughter is developing, and the more I try to mold and corral her into a manageable human being, the more I understand that I’m attempting the impossible.
Letting go of the baseball-headed drool-machine, and sitting back to watch the variety show of year three has been harder than any job interview, any performance evaluation, any project completion and most other adult activities I’ve experienced.
As much as I try to find it, the step-by-step logic behind motherhood continues to elude me. Every time I try to discover the mathematical equation to perfect parenting, I feel like I’m back in high school math class, frustrated tears pouring down my face, feeling like a complete failure.
When I follow my instincts, I’m at peace. When I trust myself, I feel serenity. When I’ve researched the crap out of parenting and still understand that not every book has ALL the answers, I’m one step cl0ser to happiness.
Do your best, expect frustration, deal with anger and enjoy the hell out of the rest.
As a human being, we are constantly searching for the answers, always wondering how much further we can go. Our curiosity is never satisfied. Perhaps its our curse to find out that not everything can be explained; that there isn’t always a “right” way to do something. There isn’t a formula to create the perfect child (though plenty of books claim this). All you can do is get the tools you need to do your best. There is no guarantee, but if you can relax enough to enjoy and respect your kid, you might make it out ok in the end.
Happy birthday LB. You continue to amaze me, every day. I love you.