My son’s first birthday is eight days away.
I admit: I am a bit of a mess. I know I’m supposed to be excited about this new first, and I am, really. When I’m not completely heartbroken. Every day he is growing and changing, rapidly shifting from my sweet little baby into a giant toddler (tantrums and all). I find myself wanting to yell, “No, baby, slow down!” Not that I’m not excited about all the new tricks he has (have I mentioned the tantrums?), or the new adventures still to come (he’l be walking any day now). I just thought the baby stage would last a little bit longer. Silly me, I should have listended to all the other mommies when they told me how fast it was going to go by. For me, the big birthday event is really just the final send-off to my baby… Welcome to toddlerhood, little one.
Mommy’s not ready.
As the day rapidly approaches when I officially become the mommy of a toddler, I thought I would take a moment and reflect on the last year. It’s been a big one for both the boy and I. Let’s see… I had a baby, left an abusive relationship (and lost a stepson in the process), moved back to small town Montana, and began the quest to become an awesome single mommy. It is certainly not the way I had envisioned things going, although I am proud to say we’re doing alright. This has been the single most emotional, life-altering and rewarding year of my life. And somewhere tucked in all the upheaval and personal change are all those little moments of my baby’s first year of life… The first time I held him in my arms… he was so tiny. That baby smell, completely new and fresh. His first smile. The way he used to fit so small and perfect in my arms. The first time he sat up on his own–he got excited he threw himself backwards (actually, he still does that). His first laugh. The day he said mama.
Now there are sippy cups and bonked heads and the constant refrain of “Don’t bite the dog!” and his charming new ability to scream at the top of his lungs because he wants something RIGHT NOW. And his sweet kisses and peekabo and first steps and… yeah, I love this age, too.
So when the day comes, I will wipe my eyes and hold on tight to my new little toddler. I have the feeling it’s going to be another big year, and I don’t want to miss a thing.