She’s one today. I’m on a seesaw of emotions. I was giddy at 7am when Bu woke us up with off key Happy Birthday. At 9am on the way to work I was a snot & tear covered mess, shocked at the date, how time has been meaningless for a year. Months whirled by with adorable milestones and changes, and at the same time it stood still while I stepped into this new life and it fit me like I’d always been here- been her mother since time began. Since this:
She’s incredible right now: a toddler shrinky dink, this tiny little wind up toy girlbaby bouncing and walking and climbing. She shrieks like a banshee when she’s denied what she wants- an ink pen, a beer bottle or glass of soda. Potato chips. The shelf with the phone and the camera equipment, to be outside or at a window allthetimeeveryminute, and never, ever to nap. Not to be woken up after she finally crashes headfirst from exhaustion. To consume only breastmilk & microscopic nibbles, and always to be in arms or in sight of Mama or Mamaw.
She has a mouthful of precious tiny white shining teeth that sound like laughter to look at them. Lighter than air honey colored hair, the front little tufts in a severe widow’s peak, the back in springy ringlets. Her wardrobe is chiefly sundresses and bloomer sets from older girls, thankfully in brighter color varieties than the pink vomit fest that were her smaller clothes. She babbles Lody, Lody, Lody and randomly mimicks. “Are you my birdy boo girl?” “BIRDY-DUDE!” “Don’t eat that! No-no! Yuk!” “YUK” Peek-A-Boo, a.k.a. Where’s Molly? is still the best game ever. She points, loosely and with varying accuracy, to her nose when asked. She has solid real person poops sometimes.
I’m thinking about this day last year, the whole medical hospital trappings, redoing it to my liking in my head, and the bulk of my wistfulness is never getting a do-over birth. It’s sad not getting to look forward to a new pregnancy and birthing experience. Not pining for a baby nearly so much as wishing for another birth with experience. Daydreaming about constant skin to skin contact in a Moby wrap at the birth center or hospital (since I don’t know how the rebellious cervix would behave a second time) and pumping from day one, as prophylactic against the Reglan prescription and f0rmula bottles. Wearing loose pull-up-able t-shirts instead of tight pull-down tank tops or convoluted hospital gowns. Smoothies to combat the lack of appetite for real food. Making 3 months worth of frozen meals. Actually making & mailing birth announcements.
So it’s not the tiny tiny toes and the sleepy melty baby. It’s the regrets & happy memories blending together and the mystified feeling that this is still a dream, too good to be real. This anniversary of her breathing her first air and seeing her first light, her first kisses and nursing and nap in her mother’s arms, her first portrait in her beaming Daddy’s arms feels like my birthday too. Like I was newly born too-instantly this little beautiful girl’s mama.