My sweet little baby is officially a toddler. Aedan turned one year old on the 19th and I cannot believe how quickly this year has come and gone. Becoming a parent, I imagine, is a lot like being thrown overboard with just one swimming lesson under your belt. Good luck parents, just keep swimming!
Except, there are no parenting lessons before having a child. You simply have no idea what you are in for until that beautiful little human is looking up at you (crying, I might add) as you attempt to put on a diaper for the first time in your life. The year starts with a lot of confidence, exhaustion, and love for this child, whose survival completely depends upon you. It then ends with less confidence (turns out this parenting this is tougher than it looks!) same level of exhaustion (does this ever go away?), more love, and most heart wrenching of all, less dependency on you for survival.
Your baby has gone from being an immobile snuggle bug to a moving, determined, communicative child who plays peek-a-boo and laughs when you say “no” to him sticking his hands in the dog’s water bowl. He’s had his first haircut and you begin to see the little boy he is turning into. And it’s only been one year. One year.
As a child, it felt like time went so slowly. Now, as a parent to a child, time simply cannot stand still long enough. “The nights are long but the days are short,” someone recently told me. It’s true. Too true.
What will the next year bring if so much has already happened in just one year? I cannot imagine. I must admit, every morning it feels like I’m being thrown overboard for the first time but I’m learning to paddle a littler longer each time.
So bring it on. I’m ready. In fact, I’m excited to have the opportunity to get to know this little boy and the person he is becoming a little more. Time does not stand still. Maybe it shouldn’t. Each day I get to spend being Aedan’s mom is priceless. I want as many of those days I am able to, even if it means he has to go from being my baby to a boy who wants nothing more than to get out of the house and away from his nagging mom to see his friends. (Thankfully, we have a few years before that stage hits.)
I’ve learned a lot over the past year, as I’m sure you have, no matter your child’s age. There are many lessons to be had but part of the fun is learning them as you go along. So I’ll leave you with just one lesson I’ve learned in these 365 past days or so:
Stop. Take time. Time for your baby, time for yourself, time for your partner, and time for your friends. It’s easy to forget about everything that comes after “time for your baby.” It’s difficult to do all the other stuff. This does not mean it shouldn’t be done. Sometimes the road less traveled is the better, albeit more difficult, path to take. Right, Beth. How do I make the time, you ask? It’s starts with picking up the phone. Book yourself a massage. Call a friend. Whatever it is, just do it.
Also, kiss that baby as many times as you can a day.
I found this quote and it just seemed so perfect. Here’s to another year of making memories…