Written By Alyssa Nitz (Volunteer of Becoming "Mom")
My baby is turning one in a few short weeks. I am doing all the silly, nostalgic things, and feeling all the joyful and hard feelings. I really can’t imagine a more bittersweet event then a first birthday.
These silly, nostalgic things include looking through all the pictures of her ever, all the way back to the puffy faced, fresh-outta-the-womb pictures from the hospital.
Zac and I keep bringing up all the memories of all the “firsts” in the last year, and have recently started a game of, “What where we doing/feeling this time last year?”
The other day I decided to finally go through her sock drawer and put away the ridiculously tiny socks that of course don’t fit her anymore. I sat there on my living room floor during nap time, and took one of all my favorite newborn socks that I remember stretching onto those pink, wrinkly toes and lined them up and stared at them and cried.
It’s not because I don’t love the phase she’s in now.
It’s not because I’m not excited to see what God has in store for her as she grows.
It is certainly not because I loved every second of newborn baby life.
It’s because something about becoming a mom, and watching your baby grow makes you hyper aware of the passage of time.
It makes you understand that once those moments are gone—they are gone.
You don’t get them back, and sometimes you just want to cup those memories in your hands and bring them up to your face and stare.
Nothing makes me realize how precious something was like retrospect.
So I cry tears onto tiny socks that she’ll never wear again.
There have been so many real and hard things in the past year. There has been loneliness and anxiety. I have felt like everyone else had their crap together but me. I have felt desperate for a break and breath, but this particular post is (I mean, really. How can a human foot be this incredibly tiny?!) not about that.
This is about all the magic and wonder of watching a little person through that first full year of life. This is about the love that sweeps you under and never brings you back up for a breath as long as you live.
This is an ode to all that baby love.
The love that kind of hurts your chest. You meet and struggle and cuddle and play and smile and meet needs all day every day. You kiss those soft, chubby cheeks more times then you could ever count. She starts smiling at you, and oh you melt for those smiles. She’s sad and she needs you. You hold her and rock her and smell her head. You can’t believe how much you miss her at times you thought you needed to get away. You are entertained by the smallest of things—a rollover, a giggle, a babble, a clenched fist.
Pretty much whatever she is doing, it is cute. In fact, thinking, “gosh, you’re so stinking cute,” seems to become a new life mantra. That baby is so darn cute you feel like you could eat her, gobble her up like a little baby burrito. You’ve become consumed by the cuteness. The chubby hands. The thigh rolls. Those little ears. The pudgy knees...
And you’ve gotten to watch everything, every discovery, every first. You watched the first time she felt a warm bath in a sudsy tub. You watched her toes curl in green grass. You watched as she felt a pine tree and smelt a flower and took a bite of a tomato. You witnessed a life encounter the big world in all its’ magnificence and it felt like the miracle that it is.
I have loved it.
I have been so privileged to watch her be a baby, and to be the witness to her discovery.
So, I will do what it seems like motherhood is constantly asking of me, I will say goodbye and hello.
Goodbye tiny baby that falls asleep in a ball on my chest…Hello little wild one, getting into everything.
Goodbye first holidays and seasons…Hello eyes wide with wonder, taking everything in.
Goodbye little squeaks and grunts…Hello new communicator, with your points and gestures and little words.
Goodbye nibbler having a few bites and your done…Hello hungry girly, shoveling mac n cheese as fast as you can.
Goodbye small, experimental smile…Hello contagious giggles and snorts.
Goodbye tiny baby content to watch the world from the safety of my arms. Snuggled still and sleeping with all your discovering ahead of you…Hello newfound little companion.