Monday, March 5, 2012

First and Last

Our last baby celebrated his first birthday a few weeks ago. We did the first birthday cake thing, he dove right in -- blue frosting and all.

Sometimes I look at my third child and see my first. They look almost identical as babies. But it's more than that. I remember my daughter's first birthday and how I felt. Yes, the love was there, but life was in flux. Motherhood was in flux. Marriage was in flux. I was in flux. Almost like my husband and I were still bit actors in this play called "Parenthood & Marriage" and fumbling aimlessly through our lines.

Then came #2 and things were less chaotic for a time, but still...finding our way. His first birthday was haphazard. I tried, but I was still fumbling, juggling, seeking, trying, falling, crumbling beneath the weight of it all...

When I saw my last baby turn one, there was nothing but pure joy. Every moment of his party, I smiled. I savored every second. The family and friends around us. My baby tasting cake for the first time. Watching his little face in wonder when we all started to sing. And most of all, seeing my first baby, now almost seven years old, helping carry the cake in for her little brother.

Now, please don't misunderstand. I forgot to buy plastic forks for the cake so we were furiously washing dirty forks that had been used for the lunch so our guests wouldn't have to eat cake like our one-year-old. But, that shit doesn't matter. It really doesn't.

Without the babies that came before, I wouldn't have learned that lesson, plus all the lessons I needed to learn (and keep learning) to enjoy motherhood and marriage the way I do today. All the frustration and uncertainty that come along with a first child and many of the difficult, painful things that were happening at the all had to happen. It all was meant to be.

So "Happy First Birthday" to my third and last baby. But, to my first baby...I want to say, "This is for you too. Thank you for being with me through the hard stuff. Some day you will know fully how hard it was, but in a way that won't scare you. Your brothers didn't have to bear what you had to bear. You helped us learn and grow. Because of that, we are the parents today we always wanted to be. It wouldn't have happened without you. I love you, my sweet, strong girl... Mama."


SARAH said...

This is awesome. I just love your way with words. M will be so grateful one day to know how much you've worked on yourself and grown since those early parenting days. She will appreciate it. I feel many of the same things about each one's first birthday. About wanting things to be "perfect" and freaking out internally if they weren't. I still have a bit of that going on but who knows how I'll feel when my #3 turns 1! Realizing what really doesn't matter is key!! :)

Rosana V. said...

@sarah thanks sarah! i always know when i write something like that you will get IT. xoxo