Closing the Year

The nights are getting cold but the days are still warm, the trees are starting to turn. Looks like another summer is almost over as we race up on Labor Day Weekend.

On my Facebook site I asked a question for other people to answer (only one person did, AMY, and she was incensed, she hated my question ), and I asked “What was your proudest moment?” I don’t think this is so hard, I don’t think this is like asking what your favorite movie or book or song is, those are hard questions because it depends on the day doesn’t it? But your proudest moment? Surely everyone can think of one, possibly several moments when they knew they’d done it, whatever it was.

My proudest moment was hands down giving birth to Kaia. For years I hadn’t wanted kids, anyone can tell you that who knows me. I didn’t want the constant hassle, the constant frustration. In fact that was one of the factors for weaning Kaia when she was nine months old, not only was she sleeping through the night but I hated feeling like someone was so dependent on me. I hated feeling like if I just picked up and went to the store she’d be really hungry and really upset if I spent four or five hours away from her, I hated learning to be dependable. Its been a learning period in my life, learning that I have a lot more patience than I ever realized. Learning to love this little girl.

I read a lot of books when I was pregnant and some of them mentioned how you might not fall madly in love with your baby the first time you saw her, that sometimes you needed more time to get to know each other. I found this to be true. Sure, I liked her an awful lot and she smelled nice most of the time. She slept a lot and was snuggly. She was pretty and she was mine. But she bugged me. It bugged me that I had to get up with her at all hours of the night, it bugged me when she would latch on on the wrong place (because that hurts!), when she’d scratch me with her sharp baby nails, when she wouldn’t just be quiet and sit in her bouncy seat. I am not one of those mothers who is able to get through the whole process with some happy-martyr attitude. When she wailed at 2am I would think “I never asked be a martyr! I never signed up for this! No one told me it was this hard!” When she wouldn’t even try to drink from a cup and give up her bottle it was the same. When she learned her voice and her attitudes and personality became more apparent I positively shuddered at the thought of how this mouthy two year old would be in ten years. When she digs in her heels and just won’t stop crying, won’t eat her food, won’t stop yelling, won’t say sorry for hitting the dog I wonder what ever got me into this mess?!

But then there are moments like last night. She read along with me for the two stories we have before bed because she almost knows them by heart and hope raised its lovely head at the thought that maybe this blue eyed girl would know the same joy I know from a lifelong love affair with words. She kissed her daddy and said “I wuv you dude” and giggled her naughty giggle. She climbed up in her bed. I came back to check on her a while later and there was that same sweet face I saw for the first time smack in the middle of my proudest moment. Those sweet rosebud lips hiding her sharp little baby teeth. Whorls of creamy skin and a little scoop nose that looks like mine and her Grandpa Cramer’s. Sweet, munchable thighs under her pink nightgown.

Yeah I’ll admit that she overwhelms me so completely I am liable to forget my name and who I am. And I’ll admit that its been a long time growing, this love affair she and I have. And yep, it could get harder and rockier and we  will probably always butt heads. But maybe that moment of feeling like I knew this slimy, screaming person I had just pushed out is joined by another moment, by knowing last night as I looked at my sweet bird that she and I are coming to know each other quite well, and a sweet feeling of anticipation at looking forward to our journey.

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