Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Pre-Party Stress Fest

Baby turns one soon.

I'm stressing. I'm stressing because my baby is so big. She's growing up so fast.  I'm not ready. Freeze time!
I'm stressing because things aren't the way we thought they would be. Most days it doesn't bother me that she doesn't sleep in her room.  I'm glad to have her closer. Most days I don't even mind that she needs me near (read: underneath) to take her naps. I need the rest and cherish these rare still moments of an otherwise busy, busy day.

But the day approaches when all will gather around in my poor, haggard house and ask all those milestone questions. And honestly, for most people it will just be a way to connect, a conversation to have, but my mom guilt will grab every quandary and sculpt it into judgement. 

I'll admit that, no, she rarely sleeps through the night (read: maybe 4 times) with my eyes cast down at the floor.  I'll sigh and confess that, no, she hasn't magically grown out of her reflux like we all hoped she would by a year.  I'll explain, again and again, that she can't have that finger food, or even her own birthday cake because of her milk soy protein intolerance.  I'll excuse myself to feed her and imagine hushed exclamations of surprise that we are still breastfeeding.  I'll know that I'm not imagining a few of those, and I'll wonder what they are saying while I'm gone.

And--I'm taking a deep breath here--I'll beam when she says "Hi!" and waves. I'll try to contain myself when she says "mama" and walks over to me all by herself.  I'll scoop her up, and I won't be shy about showing her how proud I am. I'll laugh when she dances.  I'll say, yes, she did just point at that baby and say "baby."  And when they say, wow, she's such a happy baby, I'll smile at my husband and know, without a doubt, that she's amazing because of the decisions we have made, and not despite them.

I'll know we've given her everything we've got, and in return, we've gotten everything.

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