On March 5, 2012, I was in labor in our living room, craving pineapple and fretting over who would let the dog outside if we indeed went to the hospital. A mere eight hours later, Suzianne came flying out into the world. Life–and my understanding of the importance of great stitch-work–would never be the same.
As you know, the first seven months were rough. Not for Suzianne, thankfully, just for me. I simply could not shake the feeling that everything I was doing was wrong. That taking care of an infant was a challenge I simply was not cut out for. Facebook posts from others served as a constant reminder that being a new mom was so fun (snuggle time!) and easy (playdates! weddings! road trips!) for everyone else but me.
From the worry that I would never figure out the logistics of leaving the house, to the fear of a public meltdown I could not stop, to challenges with breastfeeding and my tiny body giving out at inopportune moments. I still get breathless when I think about it.
One thing I did rock out though: cross country air travel. Like a boss.
I now realize that it is laughable, how seriously I took the whole thing. So what if your baby’s prolonged nap, or lack thereof, makes you late to your doctors appointment? So what if she melts down at a restaurant–then on the street and on the train? So what if your kitchen is a mess? Oh, Lord, last summer, every time folks tried to tell me “calm down” or “that is just what babies do,” I would just cry.
Just one year later, those anxieties feel a world away. I am myself again–mentally and physically. Though both of those transitions took so much longer than I’d imagined.
For Suzianne, one year on earth has brought her from blob-of-amazing-cheeks to a toddling, tiny human.
Once they hit six months, the cognitive, social and emotional developments come on fast and strong. This month, Suzianne began pointing at objects, holding up books for us to read, and responding to requests (where is your baby doll? do you want milk? where is Georgia?). In fact, her first words, “baby” and possibly “Georgia,” were just this week.
We celebrated her one year like anyone would in the presence of Granny Sue Sue: with a fabulous dinner at The Palm, complete with flower arrangements, party favors and a sash.
But the thing I thought was the most brilliant was the floor covering:
Granny Sue Sue can throw a party. Anyone of my friends from Elementary and High School can vouch for that! It’s been so fun having Suzianne and her Granny only one mile apart. What a blessing.
Our girl is growing fast. She’ll be walking before we know it. And talking. Lord help us!
Suzianne, we are so grateful for you. We thank God daily that you are healthy, happy and curious. I also thank God my hormones finally leveled out so that you can I can actually enjoy each other. You are perfect in every way, my love. It is an honor to be your momma.
You made me cry! Congrats on making it through the first year! You are a great momma!
Don’t cry, Dueff! I miss you!
Love the, “These adults are having a *really* good time with whatever occasion necessitates my being in this fancily-adorned highchair” expression, as illuminated by a singular candle.
I’m so glad you are feeling more relaxed, MMN. We perfectionist types have a tendency to sweat the small stuff, then go hard on ourselves when perfection becomes, just, totally futile when confronted with the “Will I be able to shower today?” demands of parenthood. Things change; people change – and I wager this change in you (going easier on yourself, letting some things go) can only be a positive one for your life (frees up space for meaning).
love, Aunty MB
Thank you, MB! I miss you!