My (almost) 1 year old is all-around crazy. Crazy fun. Crazy smart. Crazy loud. Crazy radiant. Crazy beautiful. Crazy sweet. Crazy strong. Crazy brave. I look at her and I ask myself “how did I get so lucky?”. How did the universe know that I was ready? Ready to redirect my time and energy into raising someone so brilliant and bright? Ready to be a mom to a tiny human? How? How did this happen?
The amount of growth a baby does in their first year is HUGE. The growth a parent goes through in their first year is just as big, if not more. Babies don’t know any different — they think their parents are great, wonderful, and have their shit figured out. But as parents, we’re always second, even triple, guessing ourselves. Did I feed them enough? Is she latching correctly? Why is he crying? Could it be a dirty diaper? Did I not burp him enough? What if rocking her to sleep causes sleep dependencies? Did I bathe him right? What time did I feed her again and which breast? Why are his dirty diapers green? Is that normal? Was that red spot on her tush the last time I changed her? Yada yada yada yada. The wheels in our heads constantly churn.
Then one day you’ll look at your baby, almost toddler, and know that you did good. Your baby, almost toddler, will flash you a smile, maybe even say something to you and you’ll find that instant relief you were looking for the first few weeks or months as a parent. Your baby, almost toddler, will grab your fingers and take their first steps, maybe even let go and walk towards another kid at the park and say “hi”. In that moment you’ll understand that you did everything right, Mama (or Dada) Bear. And just like that, as your baby grows, you grow.
I know that I’ve grown each and every day since Lil Bean’s arrival almost a year ago. Grown into what? That I’m not sure yet, I’m only 1 year in. I can tell you that I’m growing as a person, a partner, and a mother. I hope that I never stop growing and learning. That I’ll always be able to look back at my baby and see her growth as a reflection of mine.
‘Til the next time.