Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Looking Back

One year ago I was on bed rest hoping my little bun would stay cooking in the oven just as long as she needed to. She did. She made her big debut at exactly 37 weeks, a beautiful bundle of perfection.

One year ago I was mourning my papa, the first close family member to die in my lifetime. I still haven’t been able to duplicate his famous cinnamon toast and I still miss him. I prayed for him then. I pray for him now.

One year ago I was wondering if there was going to be enough love to go around when I became a mom of two instead of one. There is. Plenty. Even when you don’t think you’ve got anymore to give, even when the urge to run is great, you find your feet planted on the ground and you think, maybe just maybe, you have an idea of what it means to love until it hurts.

One year ago Dave and I were celebrating five years of marriage, calling ourselves old, married farts. What does that make us now that we’re even older, happily married farts?

One year ago I was quoted as saying, “Madeline doesn’t throw tantrums.” Famous last words.

One year ago I was quoted as saying, “Madeline’s level of empathy is amazing for a child her age.” I stand by what I said.

One year ago I was a tired but happy preggo. Now, another baby and many restless nights later, I’m still tired. And still happy.

One year. Twelve months. 365 days.

In some ways, I don’t feel like time exists anymore. Not since I became a mom and not in the literal sense, anyway. My days often blur together and are now measured in baby milestones, preschooler triumphs, diapers changed, tears spilled (by my children and sometimes by me), hours slept, food cubed into safe, chewable bites, songs sung, books read...

One moment I’m thinking, “I’m going to be wearing nursing bras for the rest of my life."

The next, I’m looking at my babies and they don’t seem like babies much anymore at all.

One moment I’m marveling at how old my girls seem.

Then, in an instant, I’m brought back to the moment they were born, red and angry until they found my breast and their bodies fell limp against my own. Then I see us a few days later, back at home. I'm holding a sleeping infant as sleep smiles flutter across her face. I'm whispering lullabies into her sweet, little ears. I'm covering her body with kisses and soaking up the scent of her skin - baby perfume, an emanation of miracles and dreams. I'm living in the moment, but it's fleeting. Next thing I know, my baby's teetering toward me on two feet.

Then she's running away from me.

Sometimes one year seems like a long time. But mostly, one, two, three, four, five years…They don’t seem long enough at all.

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