Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mother Nature & Father Time

No doubt about it; my first year as a mother has been hectic. Maybe that is why I am writing, what was supposed to be, my mother’s day post more than a month late. Time gets away from you, once you become a mother, in more ways than one.

It seems that, to most mothers, time is the enemy. Babies grow so rapidly, especially in their first year, and it makes it seem as though time is constantly and progressively speeding up. It is very common for mothers to find themselves looking at pictures from the first few months of their child's life and longing for the return of their teensy-weensy newborn babies. Even though, in the first few weeks, they desired the day when their babies would sleep through the night or reach a milestone, just the sight of a tiny onesie with a tag that reads "0-3 months" is enough to make a mother of a toddler tear up.

The newborn elation feeling is just so fleeting. It doesn't take long for life and responsibility to steal you from the moments of simple joy and take you to the ones of sanitizing sippy cups and buying Pull-ups. Pretty soon after that, our kids are drinking out of a glass and using the toilet and we will, no doubt, be saddened by the fact that our children need us even less. It is that love/hate relationship mothers have with time. We want to see our babies grow and thrive but, at the same time, we miss our babies that were so instinctively connected to and dependent on us. 

Stupid time.  

The times when our children couldn't yet grab things with their hands, crawl, or eat real food seem so far in the past, even though we experienced those moments fairly recently. One day your little baby is a tony blob of vulnerability and the next, they are running around chasing the family dog and eating their lunch all by themselves, sort of. That idea of, if the first year goes by this fast, then, in no time they will be parents themselves, creeps into your head and urges you to start a college savings plan. I figured that thought would make me cringe but after facing the brief possibility that my baby might not live past infancy, I welcome the future with open arms. 

Bring it on, time. 

When you are a mother, time is also something you are chasing. Once you add Mother to your list of titles, a ton of other roles come along and time is something you don't even notice as it speeds past and leaves you unrested and without a shower. If it were up to me, I would spend all of my time playing and napping with my daughter, but being a mother requires a lot more than reading books and playing peek-a-boo. Being a mom means working every second to ensure that your child has a safe and nurturing environment and a comfortable and enriching future. It also means giving them a past that they can look back on with contentment.

The title of Mother is a limitless role. You are responsible for a life and you are primarily accountable for the adult that they will someday become. To me, that fact means great responsibility, that I take very seriously, and an experience that brings unparalleled joy. Unfortunately, all these duties leave very little time for yourself but that is a sacrifice most mothers are honored to make, myself included.  

After Lu arrived, I knew my role in this world would change but I could have never foreseen the adventure our first year as mother and daughter would take us on and the personal path that she would influence me to travel. Being Lu's mother has made me a student of cardiovascular technology, an advocate for the CHD community, a lover of everything heart shaped, a Pingu viewer, a singer, a boo-boo kisser, a coupon clipper, an expert in cuddling... the list goes on and on and it grows every day. 

On one hand, I miss the days when we just laid around eating, sleeping, and gazing into each other’s eyes. On the other hand, I can't wait to see what titles Lu gives me in the future. Soccer mom? Math tutor?  Grandma

Time isn't so bad. 

Our First Mother's Day