I have had the pleasure of knowing you for a total of 365 days and today you will wake up as a one year old. The thought of this fills me with so many different emotions. On one hand I’m sad that you are no longer that tiny little baby I once nurtured and held so tender in my arms. And on the other hand i’m excited to watch you grow into your own little personality. I’m sure these thoughts pass through every parents mind when they reach this point in their child’s development. How could time be running away so quickly? How could my little floppy baby boy be standing so proud?
Each week that’s passed has brought its own challenges and rewards. We have come through so many different obstacles and there are days where I don’t feel like being a parent. When i’m tired. When you’re being difficult. When my backs hurts from carrying you. When you wake up numerous times in the night just for a laugh. But then all you need to do is put your little arms out to me and flash a smile and I remember why I go through these more testing times. Its to appreciate all the good days a whole lot more.
I never knew how motherhood would affect me. I can honestly say that bringing you into this world has made me a better person. Its made me see things so much clearer. I appreciate all the little things life has to offer. I used to waste my time, sitting indoors on the most beautiful day after getting up after lunch, hair unwashed, half dressed, eating whatever I could find and watching absolute rubbish on the tv. I still love those days but I don’t miss them. I actually look forward to waking up early (even if it kills me at the time) to hear you babbling to yourself, knowing that I get to spend the rest of my life enjoying your company.
I sometimes have the best days just you and me, watching your little mind working overtime. People would call you crazy if you spent your days talking to yourself, which is what I do for the most part when you’re not screaming at me for attention, but I like to think all the talking I do does go in somehow and you understand what i’m saying.
We have gone through so many stages in your relatively short life. To think that you’ve taught yourself so much these past 12 months amazes me. Its not the laughs, the cries, the smiles, the crawling or weaning. Its the determination you have when you set your mind to something. Its the tactile nature you have developed. Its the way you try and grab the attention of every passer by so you can give them the biggest smile you’ve got. Its the way you use the back of your hand to push in that huge mouthful of food you’re attempting to eat. Its the way you will only eat food if its in both your hands. Its the way you try and fail to get the cat to love you but she runs away in fear every time yet that still doesn’t stop you. Its the way you find everything so funny to the point of full blown belly laughter. Its the way you pull a silly screw face when you’re excited.
You’ve given me the confidence to open my heart more. As I see you grow and develop I can see that I have too. You’ve taught me to listen to my instincts and trust my own judgement. You’ve taught me to speak up. I’m no longer afraid to talk about my feelings. If I was sad I would shut it deep down into the recesses of my mind and act like I was on top of the world. I’ve definitely seen more struggles in the last 12 months than I have in my whole lifetime. I never knew I would be strong enough to deal with motherhood and all that its thrown at me. But as it happens, I bloody did it, i have managed to keep you safe. The first few months of your life could have broken me and don’t get me wrong I was close to it. At my lowest point i was wishing all the time away now i’m desperately trying to hold onto it.
I almost forget how tiny you were. How much you needed me. Now as each day passes I see how little i’m required. I just love the fact that the older you get the less we need. Slowly but surely, everything gets a little easier. The stress of making sure I’ve packed everything is no longer there. It’s just the tantrums and over tiredness I have to deal with now. I think even when you’re old and grey you will continue to push me to the brink. That’s not going away anytime soon.
I often think about who you’ll be when you grow up. If I taught you right from wrong well enough. I don’t want to ever stop you from doing what you want to do. I think its important that you carve your own path in life as you’ll never truly learn love or pain unless you do. I never knew that I could love any harder than I did when I met your dad, but there you were in all your greatness setting my heart off like a firework.
What I do know is that already I see a very kind hearted, cheeky and determined hungry caterpillar who loves nothing more than doubling up on quorn sausages and splashing like a mad man in the bath. It’s not been proven but I have a feeling you were born part fish.
I thank you my son from the very bottom of my heart for allowing me to take a ride on your first year of discovery. I have a feeling that this next year is going to be just as eventful.
“Right where you are is where you need to be. Don’t fight it! Don’t run away from it! Stand firm! Take a deep breath. And another. And another. Now, ask yourself: Why is this in my world? What do I need to see?” – Iyanla Vanzant