Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I can't wait... or can I?

Yesterday (well, two days ago, since its taken me so long to write this) I was writing in E's journal and was struck by a seemingly innocent idiom that I almost used. I wrote to her about growing up too fast. I remember being told as a child that I was growing up too fast, and I always hated it. I was getting older at exactly the same rate as everyone else, so it really didn't make sense that I was growing up too fast. Now I get it. As a child, or even young adult, everything seemed to be a count down to the next holiday or event. 113 days until Christmas!  Until your birthday! Until the last day of school! As the days get closer, the excitement builds. Months and years just seem too big to worry about, too abstract. I'm not sure when the transition happened, but now days are just too short to count. I count in weeks, or months. Sometimes even years. In 12 years, I will be the parent of a teenager. That's a scary thought... However, nothing seems to show the passage of time like a baby growing into a toddler, into a child, into a... well you get the point. The changes in our daughter over the last 12 months have been monumental.


As I finished writing about time slipping through our fingers, I started to close the journal entry. I told her how great the last year has been and then stopped myself before writing what I have seen written so many times before (and we even wrote on the slideshow!): "I can't wait to see what the next year brings." Yes, I am looking forward to getting to know my daughter as a toddler, but that doesn't mean I'm ready to be done with her babyhood. If I feel like she's growing up "too fast," then I need to stop focusing on what's next and enjoy what is RIGHT NOW!


For E's birthday party we chose a luau theme. In Hawai'i it is customary to throw luau for a child's first birthday, as much for the parent's survival and the kids! I have a co-worker from Hawai'i who said it is the biggest birthday party you every have, and you don't even remember it. We thought this was a great idea, but decided not to embrace the HUGE party idea, it would just be too much work and too overwhelming for a one year old. We stuck to just family and that was quite enough excitement!
Sharing her cupcake!

SPLASH!

A and her mom

What luau is complete without a grass skirt!?

E with her Poppa

Sitting on her new reading chair playing with her favorite toy- the bow!

I have spent a lot of time over the last few days remembering what we were doing exactly a year ago.  It was interesting to be able to put actual times to things.  As time has gone by, my body has forgotten just how miserable I was the last few weeks of being pregnant. It has forgotten how hard labor was.  I find myself thinking about our next child in terms of ME being pregnant, even though that's not the plan.  For some reason, this weekend I had a much easier time remembering what it felt like and why I was glad it is A's turn next. 

It's interesting switching gears to being the non-gestational parent, even in this early planning stage.  There's a certain invisibility that I'm simultaneously sad and excited about.  On one hand, there was a certain level of camaraderie with other pregnant women, and it made small talk a little easier.  But there was a point where I got tired of correcting people when they asked about my husband. And awkward moments that followed. Although with further thought, people will probably be more likely to ask questions when they find out I'm on maternity leave but wasn't pregnant. I guess you never really finish coming out; it's not a singular event.

2 comments:

  1. The luau theme is super-cute! I'd steal it, but I don't think it'd work as well for our winter-born babies! ;)

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