Cue the fanfare; we’ve reached a milestone. Our baby’s first birthday has come and gone. Actually, she’s no longer a baby really, as she toddles from room to room, chasing unhappy dogs and confused cats. She can climb up on the couch, and learned, from her spirit animal I can only assume, how to successfully slide off safely. We have traveled a journey that began 15 minutes into Harper’s new life. Now she can often be found screaming down the hallway, banging a measuring cup against a frying pan.
It’s hard to remember the first few months. A friend told me it’s called “mommy amnesia,” a gift from Mother Nature to ensure we have more than one child. I recall being up late, and feeding what seemed, in my haze, to be a very noisy meatloaf. I do recall being able to plop a baby down somewhere and have her stay in that exact spot for more than five seconds. There was no need for a high chair, locks on my refrigerator, or $40 baby shoes that she’ll outgrow but needs because they offer support. And yet, I love it all.
There have been highs and there have been lows (the best was when I said, in total seriousness, “Baby, you’re acting like a baby!”). Some chores have become mundane – diapers, diapers, diapers – and yet, there are new experiences every day. Outfits have become more fabulous (and more expensive). Meals have become family affairs, as we taste-test new and exciting foods. We don’t match our socks anymore – who can find them? And we have finally bid farewell to formula. We are a household in constant transition, learning how to face new challenges every day. Today, we’re at six and one-half teeth, and each has elicited a different reaction.
When you have a baby, it seems everyone says to enjoy it and remember the early moments. And it’s true. Luckily, in this iPhone world we have plenty of photos I can re-visit, remembering that time we dressed her up like a pirate or that darn Easter bonnet I spent an hour creating. I know it’s all very Lion King to say, but those memories live within me, no matter how hard Mother Nature may have tried to suppress them. And at only one year in, they can make me smile, cry, and constantly remind me that at milestones such as the first day of school and, goodness, a wedding, I’m going to be an embarrassing puddle on the floor.
And the best news is, we’re about to go through it all again.
Editor's Update: Harper's baby sister arrived on the morning of December 12!