Last night we arrived back home after our three-week excursion through Colombia. It was amazing, and we never wanted to leave (especially with the chilly weather here in the Great White North). I have so much to share about our experiences there, but not today (and probably not until next week, realistically, since I have a bunch of party planning and crafting to do before Saturday). Today something much more important is taking my attention.
Something you’ve undoubtedly noticed if you’ve followed along with this blog at any point (or actually know me in person), is that I am the mama to one spectacular little being. She is the source of much delight and excitement (as well as frustration and exhaustion, truth be told) in my life, and today she turns 2 years old.
It’s somewhat mind-blowing to consider that two years ago from this day, I was sitting in a hospital room, holding my precious little love and wondering what on earth we were going to do with her. If I’m being honest, I have to admit (which I’ve done before here) that my emotions were more along the lines of “What the funk did we do?!” rather than “I am experiencing so much love I think I might explode and ooze hearts and sparkles everywhere!”
Yea. Having a newborn for the first time (and maybe the second, I don’t know, it’s not in my life-plan) is not easy. At least it wasn’t for me. These tiny little things cry – a lot. They are demanding and fragile and you just can’t figure out what the hell to do with them.
Why are you crying? Are you hungry? Why won’t you eat? Seriously. It’s right there. Take the boob, dude. Or sleep. That would be great, too. Okay, okay. You don’t like to sleep. Or eat, I guess. Maybe there’s a trick to this. Do I rock you gently? Bounce you? Wait, they say not to shake your baby. Am I bouncing you too hard? I’m too scared to bathe you. I’m fairly certain you’ll drown. Let’s just not get you dirty. HA! All you do is ooze bodily fluids. How can someone you doesn’t eat expel so much crap? Okay. I give up. I’m not cut out for this motherhood thing.
And that’s how it went. For a while anyways.
Then you figure your spit out. You get to know each other. You get to know your spouse better, and in between the emotional roller coaster of hormones, uncertainty, and exhaustion, you find your new little family falling into a rhythm of life again. No, it’s not lie it was before, and it never will be again, but it’s here, it’s yours, and it’s becoming something you feel like you can handle.
And it just gets better and better.
And sometimes worse. But it’s okay. Now you know how to ride the waves of change that being responsible for a tiny human brings, so you can rock this ship (even if you do happen to lose your temper here and there, and still can’t figure out how to change a diaper without the smell of poop hiding somewhere, following you around all day like the motherhood version of Eau de Toilet).
In any case, the love I feel now for my little bug is something all-consuming. There are so many times now, each and every day, that I feel like I might actually explode with love for her, hearts and sparkles oozing out of my burst open chest. Seeing her little personality blossom, shedding a glimpse of light as to the kind of person I’m in for parenting for… well… the rest of my life, it brings me so much joy.
(And a fair bit of terror, too, but let’s just focus on the joy for today.)
Dear Little Z, you amaze me with your bravery. If I had even a sixteenth of your “Ah, go for it, dude, it’ll be awesome”-ness, I probably wouldn’t have wasted a good half an hour standing on a 2-foot jump into that crystal-clear pool in Mexico. (Which I finally just climbed down from in the end. Big risk-taker, here, folks.) You’re eager to try out all kinds of death-defying stunts. You love heights, and jumps, slides and bumps. You’ve asked to ride motorbikes, skateboards, and rides I would never consider going on in a million years. In countless situations where my own belly starts fluttering, your face explodes in the biggest smile. I admire your sense of adventure, and I also am not sure I am up for living through your teenage years for this reason.
Your friendliness is inspiring, too. Everywhere we go, you seek out friends, and are sure to find them, too. Your smile lights up my own face, and so many others all around you. I’m so proud of the way that you share everything you have, even if you hesitate at first with your most prized possessions. Toys, equipment, your favourite blanket, and even your pre-chewed snacks flow from your hands to others, thoughtful gestures that make so many smile.
Even since you were just months old, your empathy showed. When someone is sad, you notice and I see your brain and body carefully working to come up with a way to make them feel better. I would be lying if I said my eyes hadn’t welled up with tears of emotion for the joy I experience to have such a sweet and kind soul as my child.
You are a comedian. Your sense of humour (both intentional and as a side-effect of being an honest and open youngster) is constantly making me laugh. Your celebratory and motivational catch phrase of late is “Yea! Doooo eeeeet!!” Seriously. How can one not crack a smile as you run off shouting that?
You’re also a bit of a show off attention-relisher. The stunts you pull on the playgrounds (Look guys, no hands!) may actually be the death of me, but the way you try to engage all your new friends with riveting demonstrations of all the action songs you know is nothing short of adorable.
There is so much about you I love, I couldn’t possibly recount everything.
You truly are beautiful, inside and out, Little Z, and if I could have my choice of any little being to be mama to, I would always choose you. Every little part of you, with nothing omitted. You are exactly who I want, and exactly who I need. Let this next year of your life be full of many new adventures, and a bajillion new opportunities for you (and me) to learn and grow.
Happy 2nd Birthday, Zaiya! Welcome to the Terrible Terrific Twos!