As I write this, my daughter is sleeping peacefully in the next room and I can’t help but check in on her. Watching the slow rise and fall of her chest, it seems impossible that almost two years have gone by.
The night we brought Addison home from the hospital, she slept on my chest. I was a new mom filled with anxiety, unsure of how to keep a human alive through a whole night while sleeping. I would doze off sitting up with this tiny baby on my chest, and as soon as I felt my head drop forward I would jolt awake, terrified that I had fallen asleep on the job.
I don’t know how we got from there
Tonight was one of those evenings you count your lucky stars, and then you count them again, thanking God for all the many things He has blessed you with as if they all just fell into your lap. Its easy to get wrapped up in the exhaustion that is motherhood, moving from one task to the next on autopilot while just trying to make it until bedtime. But some days, I am so pleasantly surprised by this life.
Addison insisted on wearing her birthday tutu over her pajamas all evening. We had an epic tickle-fight and I got my workout throwing her on the bed over and over again, because when you hear “Mama, more,” every time you just can’t say no. She was sweet and kind and we had a blast together, just me and her.
These are the things I used to dream of, friends. I can not believe I am so lucky. I always hoped for a little girl who would wear tutus and get into my make up. I used to pray that someday I’d hear someone call me Mama. And here I am.
Today I held Addison like a baby and it made my heart a little sad. This almost two-year old is now too big to fit into my arms and be cradled, too independent to lay back and let me rock her. She is smart and funny. Beautiful and fearless. She is my heart, beating outside of my body.
In the past two years my girl has taught me so much. She has taught me to trust my instincts, as a mother and as a person. She has taught me how to have patience and grace. She has also taught me that there aren’t many things a cookie can’t solve.
Deep down, though, I will always be that fearful mom from two years ago cradling my tiny baby in the darkness. I am always on my toes as a parent, thinking and rethinking my approach to parenting, hoping I am doing right by Addison. I think this is going to be a life-long learning process and I pray I get it right. The saying goes: Girls are full of sugar and spice and everything nice, but my girl is goodness and joy and light, and she deserves nothing but the best that I can give her.