I have a one-year-old.
It feels so strange to say that.
My daughter, Katie, just celebrated her first birthday. It was a rough day for me. I can’t remember the last time I was so very happy and so very sad, all at the same time.
I spent a lot of time that day reflecting on the last year, and how much my life has changed. Since Katie was born, I’ve never been so tired, so stressed, so scared. I’ve never been so happy.
Every aspect of my life is different than it was just one year ago. Things that used to matter so much, are now just tiny matters. Things I never dreamt I’d care about are now a major concern. My life is no longer my own, it revolves around Katie, and what she needs. I love that.
I spent Katie’s birthday watching her. Watching her run, watching her play. Watching her laugh, chase the dog, dance and nap. I stared at her and tried to figure out how she grew so fast.
Was it really just one year ago she was so tiny? Just a little five-pound baby, completely unable to do anything on her own?
Now here she is, Miss Independent, running circles around the house. She climbs the stairs and the furniture. She would rather go hungry than have someone feed her, and has traded her bottle of formula for a sippy cup of milk.
Other moms warned me that time would go by quickly, but I had no idea how fast it could fly.
It makes me both happy and sad to see her so grown up. I’m happy to be sleeping through the night (almost), but at times I find myself missing our late night visits. Cuddle times now are few and far between, as Katie is much too busy to spend time sitting on mommy’s lap.
Every new step she takes is both gratifying and heartbreaking. I’m so proud that she’s healthy, and strong and growing just as she should. But then again, I’d give just about anything to hold on to my baby girl forever.
In the last year, I’ve learned a lot about life, and even more about myself.
I’ve learned what’s really important, and it’s nothing that would have made my list just over a year ago. I’ve learned what it means to be happy, and how important it is to realize your blessings.
I’ve learned that I’m stronger than I ever thought I could be. I’ve learned that it’s OK to ask for help.
I’ve learned that I was made to be a mommy.
I’ve learned that your heart really can walk around outside of your body.
This last year has been amazing. I’m sad it is over, but happy to be moving on to the new adventures that I know await me and my “Big Girl”.