it’s coming up on one year since my baby was born. i’m obviously sentimental but it’s really amazing to reflect on the time and on how he has changed my life. how motherhood is really everything, everything that you need to know compacted and presented in tiny doses. there are days at first, days that he is alive and new and in your arms instead of in your womb. and then weeks. weeks where he opens his eyes more and begins to look out at the world around him. and then months. months that pass so incredibly fast and so slowly because it is all in the hours. the hours of the day that make up his life. the hour he wakes, the hour he eats, sleeps, wakes, eats, sleeps and every moment in between. and the milestones. the milestones that you wait for, push for, wonder about. all to watch him grow, grow into his own small person instead of a part of your body.
after one year as i have watched every moment of it and questioned every moment of it, i see how very simple it is. that as much as he needs me, he doesn’t need me at all. that he would come into all of it, all of it, without my pushing and pulling and wishing and hoping. that he will, in his life, be exactly who he needs to be, and survive in just the ways he must, with or without me and my never ending worry. but we are here, together. we are a family. my husband and i are two planets revolving around him. his smiles are the light of the days and his cries are the clouds in the sky. he is the weather by which we plan our daily moves.
balance is a word used frequently by parents. how does one find balance, with a family. my son was born under the sign of libra, and i find him to be like those lovely gold scales, weighing heavily on one side and then swinging to the other. he has taught me about balance in a very different way. because i need him. i do. and he needs me, i know. but as much as i know this with every ounce of my being, i know too that we are whole without each other. i know that nature has him and he grows and changes and makes his own way. i know too that my life could have been something else entirely without having a child, and it would have been fine. you see, there’s two sides to everything. and whatever you need to learn, it will come to you one way or another. through motherhood or career or relationship or just living day to day. i am often caught up in the minutia of life, often stuck in the details, but motherhood always shows me the big picture. and it shows me often that what is bothering me so consumingly doesn’t really matter. he will eventually eat solid food. and take naps. and sleep through the night. and say words and take steps and become himself, all in exactly the right time for him. call it nature or call it faith, but life goes. life doesn’t look how we think it will. motherhood shines a big light on those weaknesses. it holds them up for you to see. but with it is this LOVE. truly unconditional love, which is to say, this tiny person is driving me out of my mind but i will still pick him up and hold him and make his bottle and wash his clothes and completely melt at his laughter because there is somehow this never ending well of love to draw from.
when i think back on the last year i think about what a struggle much of it has been. from labor to delivery, to his first months of colic and on. but in that has been the most joy that i have ever experienced. and a lot, a lot, of in between. balance is a good word, it’s a good goal or even mantra. but i think letting ourselves off the hook is a better one. having a little faith, even.