Thursday, March 8, 2012

Turning Five

Every birthday is a milestone... both for the child who was birthed, and the parents who did the birthing, so to speak (let's be honest... Mark didn't do much birthing himself, but I am not sure that things were actually easier from his viewing point than from mine).

I remember when I realized that we had made it through the first week of Sadie's life. Mark and I were both exhausted, and Lily and Daisy both looked shell-shocked as well.  Sadie was not a bad baby, she was not a crier, and everyone marveled at how much she slept and how easily she went down (at that time, awake). But still, it was SO MUCH WORK. All the laundry, all the schedules, eating and diaper changing. All the bottles to wash, hands to wash, things to wipe down and sterilize. We were exhausted. Then Mark traveled to Houston for work a few times, for 10 days at a stretch, and we got a family of baby birds stuck in the chimney in our kitchen. And I really did wonder if we were going to survive ourselves (let alone the fate of birds). I remember when Sadie turned a month, and I was getting more used to it all. I wouldn't say I was enjoying the experience then. I remember asking one of my best friends "Why didn't you tell me how hard this was?" and she said "No one warns other people... if they did, then no one would ever have a first child."

But one week and one month... turned into one year. And then two, three, four, and now five. The first night home with Sadie lasted an eternity (she did not sleep for but an hour that night). And the last two years of her life have flown by in what seems like an hour.

Physical exhaustion is replaced by mental worrying about this, that or the other thing. No more or less than any of you worry about your children, your aging parents, your wayward friends.

As taxing as parenting is as a job, it produces reward in tenfold. As much as I fret about some things, I couldn't be more confident in so many others. My daughter is full of spirit and sass and drama, and I couldn't be prouder. She has character and determination and one day she will get in loads of trouble, just like I did.  My greatest wish is that she have at least one daughter so she can experience, first hand, the gift that her being gave to me.  To know that no matter how difficult I probably was as a teenager myself, and how many times I made the wrong choices as a young adult, that I still got the chance to walk this life with her.

And until she has that daughter one day, I will keep on enjoying these days. The sense of both things changing and staying the same. The knowledge that there is a greater Being in charge of our lives and He is putting me in this role as Mother-Wife-Worker-Attorney-Forty-two-Year-Old-Athlete-Lover-of-Fun-But-Not-of-Housework so I will learn something and along the way, teach something to someone else. I love learning from Sadie and watching her grow and change. And I love the kiss that I get from the very lips that were connected to that face that I saw and kissed for the first time five years ago today.

We have quite a journey left together my child. May you always know how much fun it is to go on it with you

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