My kid turns two today. Two years ago today, the two things I recall are, 1) blinding, searing pain, and 2) the relief I felt when I finally got that morphine injection after 27 hours of life altering labour. Oh, and of course seeing my daughter for the first time.
I remember feeling awkward and unsure of how I was going to tackle the gargantuan task of caring for this fragile bundle of perfection. In retrospect, I suppose that was my first bitter taste of selflessness. The stark reality of having to put another human being’s needs before my own. Definitely a foreign and scary concept for me!
In two short years, being her mom has taught me so much about life and love. Though I still blame her for never giving me back my body, for my severely depleted shoe budget, for making a good night’s sleep a thing of the past, I can truly say, (gulp), Children really are God’s greatest gift.
Things I've learned from being Lili's mommy:
- Never buy crayons! Take it from my couches, my white walls & doors that have all being lovingly adorned with Lili-art. If your child is artistically inclined or (like me) you’re trying to keep them busy from tearing apart your house - buy water-based paint. It washes off, and is less likely to poison them should they swallow it. Which they most likely will.
- I have a super-power: Patience. God gave mothers endless reserves of patience, because they need it. Nothing like a screaming, fussy baby on a 4-hour red eye flight or being greeted by a cheeky grin holding a broken laptop screen to help you discover the new depths of your patience.
- I no longer exist in the eyes of my parents. Or rather I exist for the sole purpose of holding up the phone to facilitate Skype or to pay for airfares to facilitate face-to-face meetings between grandparents & granddaughter. Otherwise, I’m pretty much a non-factor.
- Learn how to prioritize. When the going get’s tough (and believe me, it will, and quick!), get what needs doing done first. Amazing as we mother's are - you will just not be able to do everything, all the time. So do what needs doing and the rest will be there tomorrow. My list of priorities is usually: keep the baby alive, work, oh and husband J. If nothing else, keep the baby alive. Eventually, she can work and look after you and your husband.
- I’m turning into my mother. I find myself saying things like, “You’re going to be a lawyer, a ea baby!” Lol. I also (like my mother) find it completely logical for a mother to be 100% in the know about every part of their child’s life. Lord help us both when she’s a teenager.
Happy Birthday, my darling.