Willow is now three months and five days old. These past three months have been both a blur and an eternity. During the first few weeks of her life, our girl was up every hour or two. Sleep deprivation aside, nothing in the whole wide world could have prepared me for the flash flood of emotions and love I’d never known I was capable of. If you’d have asked me several months ago, I would have happily told you my life was complete ( I mean, have you met my Benjamin? Because he is Ahhmazing!) The moment I laid eyes on that little girl, MY little girl, it was like I suddenly reached a new level of completion. In that instant, that moment we first looked into each other eyes, every other moment before her seemed suddenly lacking. This emotion was seriously instantaneous. You expect that you’ll love your kid, its your kid after all. But love takes time, a true love isn’t usually born over night.This is not like that, everything shifts in the blink of the eye. It was a wave of love that washed over me with such an intensity, I could do nothing but grin and weep. The love was immediate, but it wasn’t until she smiled her first real smile intended for me, that I fell into “like” with her. At that moment she officially captured my heart in a way I wasn’t expecting after blurry weeks of spit up and frequent diaper changes. I liked her, for the little person that she is. The sweet little pea that now laughs when I stick out my tongue and make exaggerated “oh” noises. I’ve also discovered I can do a turkey mating call, let me tell you, it is a huge hit in our house right now!
When I was a little girl I always assumed that at some point in a woman’s pregnancy someone would pull them aside, and teach them all the things a Mother knows how to do. You know, like how to heal wounds and make pancakes. How to patch your favorite jeans, how to clean things and make birthday cakes. They would tell them which stories are best to read at night and how to make the best shadow puppets. Mom’s need to know how much cough syrup is enough and which dinosaur could run fastest. They know everything there is to know about plants and how to fix sick little animals. My mother knew all this and more. I thought this for a long time, probably almost into my teens.It never occurred to me that this knowledge was the sort of thing gathered slowly, just by living a life (and mostly born of necessity).
So now, imagine my surprise, when at the age of twenty six, I find myself a mother and more capable and knowledgeable than I thought I’d be. How did this happen? I still wait for the day when I’ll wake up and “feel” like an adult. Because even after having a child, I still don’t feel like an adult. I just feel… like me. I guess I always just assumed that once you had a baby you changed into a a completely different person and the old you had to die forever. I worried about that, I will admit that I mourned what I deemed to be the lose of myself. As the time ticked down nine months, I wondered if I would ever have a life again.If I would ever just be able to get up and go. I relished the last days of doing whatever I wanted on a whim, with little baggage or planning, because babies require SO MUCH STUFF. And then she arrived, and most of everything I thought I knew changed. Life had simply taken on a different definition. It’s now that I see the old me is still there, she’s simply taken a step back to make room for this new, joyous little girl in my heart. The world isn’t over. I’m still my own person. I just had a baby, thats all.