Monday, October 24, 2011

a baby changes everything.

just over a week ago our little roman joe turned one.
as i look through all the photos from that day (a cluster of them are scattered throughout this post), his birthday, i've been reflecting on how much he's changed me, and mr leif, us.

it's true.
they change the way you think,
the way you plan,
the way you dress,
the way you eat,
the way you sleep,
the way you socialize,
the way you drive,
the way you clean,
they change everything.
they change your life.

but not a moment goes by, as they shape-shift your life, where you will ever find yourself wanting it any other way. you don't. you love your new life.
and now you wish babies on everyone you know, {do i sound like a freaky baby-hippie-lover?} but really, it's true.
you wish that all of the women you know will get to experience a mother's love. you do.

last night, as mr leif and i went to bed, i stopped in for my "just one more peek" routine.
the one where i pull the blanket up around little roman,
the one where i tuck him in all snuggly,
the one where i lightly touch his cheek to see if he's too cold, or too hot,
the one where i fight back tears, because i know what's happening.

he's growing up.

it's going to happen so fast.
i hear it all the time, "they just grow up so fast, before you know it, they're outta the house!"
the thought of him growing up, getting married, and no longer being my little baby, angers me.
i know that might sound crazy to you
but right now, i can't fathom him being big. being grown up.
he sleeps on his tummy,
all curled up.
arms tucked under him, knees pulled up in fetal position.
he looks like a little ball in his crib.
not a night goes by that i wish i could just scoop him up and hold him for the next 2,399,420 hours, and longer.
my heart aches as i stare into his crib, thinking, "what if something bad or scary or terrible will happen to him someday?" i can't stand the thought of it.
when did this happen?
how did i develop a love so strong for someone so little, for someone who's existence in my life is shorter than almost all of my other relationships?
why are we given children and allowed to experience this crazy amazing love for them, to see them just grow up and move out of the house....and leave us???
why can't we keep them little forever???
i know i'm sounding selfish, and maybe unrealistic, and possible even crazy,
but it's what's on my mind these days ;)
i know children are a gift from God....
i know we raise them and love them for His glory and honor....
i know they are truly His...
but sometimes i want just one wish.
sometimes i want to just freeze time right here.

[my heart melts]
it's when he cuddles with me after waking up from naps,
it's when he says, with an ever so sweet and delicate voice, "mommm-a"
it's when he crawls so fast away from me when we place chase, but always to look back and see if i'm coming,
it's when he rolls with a belly laugh from my tickles,
it's when we play peekaboo,
it's when he mimics me drinking coffee....."sip, ahhhhhhh" he really does copy me.
[my heart.melts.every.time.]
what an amazing year.
i didn't know i could be stretched, tugged, and challenged so much.
i didn't know such change could have occurred and so intentionally.
but i did. it did.
i've realized that having a baby requires selflessness.
you can't prepare for it, it just happens.
motherhood can be hazy at times.
when you realized you haven't showered, or had anything to eat for hours, or that you haven't had more than a couple hours of sleep consecutively.
it can wear on you.......
but the fulfillment from being a mother is priceless.
when i first became a mother, in the beginning, i realized - you just do roll with survive.
but as the first year of motherhood progresses, it becomes the normal. the selflessness.
the sacrifices, they're just part of the job.
but you don't mind. you embrace it, sometimes chuckling about it with friends.

you are fufilled from it - to give your time, your energy, your love to your child, is the ultimate.
it doesn't matter what time of the night it is, or how many shirts you've gone through already, you rise to the occasion. you step up to the plate.
and at the end of the day, you love them so much it hurts.
my dear sweet baby roman,
sigh......happy birthday!
you are my first born. you molded me into the role of mommy.
it was you who stretched my heart, my patience, and the days between hair washings.
it was you who allowed me to experience my first ultrasound, my first contraction, my first time nursing, my first time signing my name in the 'mother' slot at the doctor's office, my first time changing a diaper in the bathroom at the mall, the first time staring at the lights of the christmas tree in the dead of winter as i rocked you to sleep at 3 am, my first time experiencing nerves as we drove to get your shots, my first time experiencing heartache as i dropped you off at daycare, my first time experiencing 4am baths to lower your fever, my first time trying to figure out that dang nursing cover in public, my first time feeling the excitement as i watched my own child crawl for the first time and take his first steps. it was for you that i ordered my first kids meal - realizing how excited i was to see what toy you got! i was you who made me a mother, it was for you that i experienced singing happy birthday to my own child.
it was with you that i experienced motherhood for the first time. forever changing me.
i love you more than words could ever even begin to explain.
happy first birthday roman joe leif!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. What a sweet reflection on your first year! Happy Birthday 'lil Roman!