|First Birthday 2006|
My daughter is going to be six years old in just three days. She is a blossoming little woman. Her birthday is shared with Dr. Suess. Maybe you know him? So that day at school they get to wear pajamas to class. The last time she had a pajama day at school she was so happy you’d have thought it was Christmas.
So I sit here and think to myself, what have I learned in six years of mothering? This journey started when I was twenty years old. I wasn’t even deemed legal to drink alcohol but I was responsible for the upbringing of another human being. Was I scared? Of course! I always knew that I wanted to be a mom but that didn’t mean I wanted it so soon. Surprises have their way of working out. When she was born, the motherly instinct took over and has guided me since. I mean instinct quite literally. I wasn’t the kind of mother who read all of the baby raising books, or followed other mother’s hipster blogs. I did some research of course but mainly I stuck to the principle of “what worked for my own mother works for me”. If I faced a situation that didn’t fall into that principle, then I made a decision for her based on what I thought felt right. So how did that go for me?
I say that it went very well. My daughter walked before turning one, said her first word at 7 months, and was saying five words by 8 months. Not long after we could have little people conversations with each other. Teething was amazing because it never hurt her. All teeth came along just fine. In just the last year she has lost her two bottom teeth and already both adult teeth are in their place. She got $5 per tooth (not my choice). The tooth fairy is more generous than she was back in the ‘80s apparently.
So what have I learned in six years that will help me in the future years? She’s taught me that most things don’t go as planned but they often work out better anyway. I’ve learned that I can’t teach her every single value in life because some of those lessons she has to learn on her own. I have had to accept that I can’t prevent all harm that could befall her (though I will always try). I found out just last night that I’m the best at “my job” of cooking and cleaning. It wasn’t fun to hear at the time but she meant it as a compliment. But the best thing I learned from her was the love of a child. She is my heart and soul and before we met I had no idea how precious that love would be. You haven’t truly loved until you’ve loved your child.
As I type this, my own mother calls me to tell me that she just said “Grandma, I’m almost all grown up”. Oh my baby, you grow too fast. ❤