I'm back again to recap on the first year of being a parent in light of Sawyer's birthday here in a little over a week. The other day it was the not-as-fun stuff; today we're going to look at the opposite.
I knew that motherhood wasn't going to be easy and that there would be some really hard parts; what I wasn't as prepared for was how happy it makes me. Right now, for example, Sawyer is gleefully shredding Kleenex all over the floor and I'm finding the whole thing fairly amusing. He's learned to throw things behind his head and turn around to retrieve whatever it is (right now, tissue)- object permanence and the coordination to throw something. Kind of a big deal. It would be better if he could read, but I'll settle for this... for now.
Here's what a snippet of what I've loved the last year:
He's Really Cute and Cuddly
I know this is very trivial, but having a baby is sort of like having a high-maintenance puppy around all the time. I'm well aware that I am biologically wired to think my child is adorable- it's nature's way of ensuring that I'll provide the proper care. And it works. Even when he's crying he's still cute. The cuddles are pretty sweet too, except when they're at 2 am. That is my absolute least favorite time to cuddle with anyone. Nonetheless, there's something that kicks in that makes these two things very enjoyable. Picking up a smiling baby ready to throw his fat little arms around me up from daycare everyday is sometimes the highlight of my afternoon.
The Little Things are Fun Again
I'll be the first to admit that I'm jaded and cynical; not as bad as some, but far worse than others. Having a little guy around has taken some of the edge off, though, and I find myself getting excited over small things like taking him to see ducks or the first time he tried solid food. Going to get his first pair of Chucks was even more fun that buying myself shoes and we could play peekaboo or with his Little People for hours (well, maybe like a solid twenty minutes). The holidays were infinitely better this year and hearing him laugh is enough to cheer me up instantly.
The Little Science Experiment
A kid really is a science experiment; he's this little research subject that can be manipulated and altered by changing a variety of variables. In theory, anyway, and after accounting for genetics. I enjoy reading about the cognitive, motor, and behavioral changes that he goes through and looking back at how much he changes month to month.
My Little Buddy
Like all moms, I do love the occasional break. But the older Sawyer gets, the more fun we have together. Minus grocery shopping on Sunday mornings, work, and the occasional appointment, he's pretty much always within the vicinity during waking hours (and sometimes during sleeping). He has a pretty easy demeanor and I already see a sense of humor starting to creep through the baby personality (there's some stubbornness in there too). I can't wait until the days when I (hopefully) have someone as enthusiastic about ice cream runs as I am. I'm also pretty psyched to eventually take him to see the space shuttle, the tide pools, and his first big sporting event.
Someone to Love
I loathed all the corny Hallmark-esque things that people tell you pre-baby about how much mothers love their babies and whatnot. But it really is true. The love you feel for your kid is both exhilarating and downright frightening. I'm not saying it's better, but it's definitely different than the feelings I've had towards family members, my husband, friends, pets, or even Diet Coke. It's the kind of love that sustains you when you feel tired, overwhelmed, frustrated, and alone. It's the kind of love that makes you put on a happy face during the worst of times and the kind of love that helps you reset your priorities.
It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it. Seriously. If there weren't any moms the population would die out.