Today, you turned one and for some reason that makes me both really happy and really sad.
This year has just whizzed by too quickly.
And I really did spend time drinking it in like everybody said to. I spent days where I did nothing but nurse and cuddle you. I watched you sleep. I took the whole year off work. But none of it seems to have slowed down time.
This year has been the quickest and most momentous of our lives. And because so much has happened I find myself forgetting details. Like your new-born smell or how teeny you felt in my arms when I nursed you in the middle of the night or even how floppy you were when you were first learning to sit. I know it happened but I can’t feel it anymore.
When I close my eyes I see your today-face with your blondey brown hair sticking out in all directions, your little button nose that wrinkles when you giggle, your perfect teeny mouth that so often forms a comically perfect ‘O’ when you yawn. But tomorrow you won’t look like that and it breaks my heart. It’s like enduring little bereavements every day; my baby is slipping away and being replaced by this beautiful and perfect little girl. And so I try and soak it up but it’s like trying to hold onto water.
Yet, the maddening thing is, that nothing makes me prouder than watching you grow every single day. I live for the new things you do. Crawling and walking, roaring and kissing. It’s incredible watching you develop. When you first crawled I remember swelling with pride and
Your Daddy was more than disappointed to miss the first time.
You’re developing into this precocious and funny little madam. A fiercely independent little lady who wants to do everything on her own and despite being unable to talk uses her funny faces and little quirks to tell us exactly what she wants, when and how. For instance opening and closing your podgy little fist in the direction of your water/food/toy and shaking your head until we pick up the right one.
I keep on zooming forward to when you’ll be talking; excited to hear your words and thoughts, to your first day at school, will you love it? Or your wedding day; will your daddy cry as he walks you down the aisle (of course he will – he’s a big softy!) I can’t wait for every single milestone. In some respects it can’t come quickly enough.
Between mummy blubbers at how quickly it’s all going, and feelings of trepidation at the thought of our year off together soon coming to a close; I cant help but compare my present self to my pre-Mush self.
Without a doubt, you have irrevocably altered me. And I can never go back. You have given me a purpose I never needed that spans beyond any promotion, a joy that was never lacking before but some how now exists in earth shattering proportions. You have given me a new found reverence for the fragility of life and wonderment at the miracle of it.
Impossibilities of impossibilities I even love your daddy more. Seeing him fall so hard for you and worry about whether you have enough sun cream on, or enough bath toys or spending literally hours teaching you words and sounds, it fills me with the warm and fuzzies. I just love him so much.
In truth you’ve both turned me into a big old ball of vulnerable love! But oh what a double edged sword that is. It means that I am a bag of worry and nerves, spending my time researching whether the tiniest bit of unnoticed mildew in a both toy that touched your bath water for a fraction of a second could kill you or whether the spot of eczema under your chin is actually early onset meningitis or insisting on getting life insurance; just in case.
It’s funny how new life makes you worry constantly about death. It’s crazy also how it makes you lose first hand fear of your own mortality. Indeed, I fear for myself in the sense of how awful for you not to have a mother but not in the sense of I don’t want to die. Of course I don’t (now more than ever) but keeping you alive and well and happy has taken priority over all else.
Both Daddy and I have been consumed with this innate need to protect you from all hurt. Though we realise we cant, we’re still determined to try. Even at the tender age of one, we’ve already had the odd occasion when we have had to reassure each other that unfortunately yet inevitably you will hurt and we can’t always stop it but, thank goodness, we can always be there to kiss it better.
Today, on the eve of the rest of your life, I find myself wishing you good health and happiness (what parent doesn’t). But most of all, little baby Mush, I wish you your very own child because, quite plainly, I can’t see how it gets better than this.
All my love, now and forever,