I take back every time I ever dissed someone for baby-talking.
I take back every time I rolled my eyes at someone saying breathlessly, “My child blah blah…”
I take back any thought I ever had about “just being a mom”.
Having a child and being a mom changes you.
You become breathless with devotion.
You forget rules (and establish new ones).
You will modulate your voice any which way to see another smile travel across your child’s face. You find that there is no face too silly to make, no accomplishment too small to shout from the rooftop.
Witnessing Briar learn to stand on her own and take steps -first one and a half shaky steps, then three, and now, every once in a while six or seven in a row, has rivaled anything NASA has ever done. The Olympics, the Boston Marathon, the Red Sox vs Yankees World Series don’t hold a candle to the wonder of Briar’s first year.
She’ll be sitting on the floor and then begin to push herself up. Her sturdy little legs shake as she pushes her way up, her feet spread shoulder width apart, her torso stretching out in front of her, looking for all the world as if she’ll pitch forward, and then with a quick snap, her torso is again above her legs, which are now straightened and still. She stretches her arms out and cranes her neck, surveying the view from this new height. I realize that I’ve held my breath until she’s up.
I am so proud of myself for letting her do things.
Sometimes that means letting her bump her head, or smack down on her diaper padded backside.
Sometimes it means letting her splash in the dog water dish until she tips it over completely soaking the floor and leaving a puddle that spans the entire kitchen.
Through this freedom she has learned that she needs to move out from under the coffee table. She knows she needs to plant her bottom first to absorb the fall.
And yes, she knows that, well, spilling the dog’s water is FUN.
So fun we’ll do it every chance we get!
Gotta say, I am also proud of being able to keep a sense of humor. The truth of the matter is that you do get tired. You do get cranky. You do get frustrated. But that doesn’t make you bad. It makes you human. And as much as I’d like to be perfect, I think Briar’ll be a lot better off having a “real” mom.
So, at 11 o’clock at night, when I am desperate for sleep,
when the air conditioner doesn’t seem to be touching the oppressive heat,
when I know it’s going to be trouble getting my contacts to stay in my burning, red eyes,
when Briar sits between us in bed, grinning, and pinching her Dad’s body saying,
“Bu-zibzy, bu-zibzy!” I laugh.