I’ve spent the weekend reminiscing about this time last year. It was as if summer had arrived early, the weather sparkling with our famous Californian sun. My coworkers bid me a proper farewell on my last day of work before maternity leave and left me riding into the sunset with two trunk loads of baby shower gifts for you. I moved all boxes and trinkets into our cramped living room, silently vowing to spend the next two weeks before your arrival finally getting things ready for our new life.
On Saturday, on a whim, your daddy and I decided to go on a shopping trip together. Whilst I was preoccupied with my job, I hadn’t a moment to even begin thinking about how things would change once I had you but now that I would have this mini-break before your due date, I suddenly became neurotic about cleaning up, about being a perfect mom. Somehow, retail therapy that weekend seemed to temporarily provide a calming and reassuring fix that things could, maybe, turn out fine.
And then—on another whim—I decided I wanted to recreate one of your daddy and my first dates together at none other than greasy Red Robin. I indulged in the meal of all meals, stuffing what little stomach space I had left with a double punch of cheeseburgers and fries. Little did I know said burger would send me straight to labor an hour short of Mother’s Day 2010. I remember I kept asking the triage nurse in disbelief, “You mean I’m going to have a baby today?? Within 24 hours?”
“Yes,” she confirmed. “You will definitely have your baby on Mother’s Day.”
Just like that, I had my world’s most precious baby. Childbirth left my body in tears and pain but every time I looked at you, I couldn’t help but breathe a “Wow.” I’d never really won anything before but with you, I felt like I was gifted life’s ultimate prize. That Wow, I’d finally done something good and right.
Your aunt Carly told me months after your birth that right before you came, she had a dream I had just had you. It was just the two of us in the middle of an iridescent forest and we were cuddled up in a sacred sphere of twinkles and buzzing fireflies on a center patch of wispy green grass. And above us: a glowing sky burning with shooting stars pulsing with light in quiet celebration and magical peace. Crazy thing is I couldn’t have described the birth experience better myself.
Today is your birthday and my stomach is left in twisted knots of disordered emotions. Watching you grow has completely eradicated all that I thought I knew about life and reshaped it into something at once gentle, real, and incredulous. It is an honor to be part of your soul’s journey through this world but if I’m being completely selfish, I want nothing more than to cradle you in the palm of my hand and safe-keep you forever in my left pocket.
My year as a new parent has been a mixed bag of good, hard, and harder days. But no matter the challenges life brings, one thing I often remind myself is one day your daddy and I are going to look back and probably confess these were, indeed, the best times of our lives.
Your mommy <3