It’s the night before my little one turns one. I always get really nostalgic when it’s my children’s birthdays. I don’t know what it is about them growing up that just tugs at my heartstrings. This time around tho, I’m more nostalgic than I have been in the past.
This is it. I’ll never have a baby under my care again. Tomorrow he will be a toddler. He will slowly leave my arms so that instead of being held by me he can go and hold on to what this life has for him. He’ll begin to be more independent until he no longer needs me. He will change, and grow, and discover a whole new world and before I know it he’ll be off to school. And nobody can tell me that their childhood isn’t so tragically short because I see it in my oldest. Wasn’t it just a month ago that I became a mother for the first time? Oh time how you fly.
He’s heaven-sent, like all children are. Designed specially for me. He’s perfect. For me. And to me. And I can’t believe it’s been a year already. How? Lord, how does time fly by so fast? Don’t we all wish we could slow down time?
And I more than ever wish it would for I want to hold on to this baby stage as long as I can. I still want to relish in the fact that he still needs me. That I and I alone can comfort him. That his eyes light up when he sees me. That I’m everything for him. And maybe it’s the fact that he’s entering a new stage where a lot of things will end and many new things will begin that gets me. Endings.
The ending of a stage in life. One where I will never again experience any of this. No more first birthdays in this household. No more monthly pictures of updates on milestones reached. No more gummy smiles. No more restrictions on what he can eat. No more.
Mom’s reading this, I’m going to give you some unsolicited advice. Things that now, on my third and final time around I have held dear to my heart.
- Hold your babies. Hold them as much as possible. No you’re not spoiling them. Hold them momma’s for the day will come when they will no longer want to be held. It will come just like first birthdays and kindergarten come, it will come. So hold them close and hold them often.
- Don’t rush the milestones. All milestones come, some sooner than later and some later than sooner, but they come. No need to rush them into growing up. Savor the moment in life they’re in.
- Take pictures. Tons of pictures. Document everything. First smile, get it. Sleeping, snap that. Drooling, capture it. Record videos of them doing nothing but staring at you. Don’t apologize for the million of pictures you post. Those who care won’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.
- Don’t compare your baby to another baby. Mom’s stop with the comparing!! EVERY baby is different. Not all baby’s crawl at 6 months. Not every baby sprouts a tooth at 7 months. Not every baby walks by their first birthday. Comparison will rob you of joy and peace so let it go. Your baby is perfect and unique…just like you.
- Love yourself momma. When you love yourself you love other’s better. When you care for yourself you care for others better. When you practice self-care and reenergize yourself by doing what you love, be it reading, running, working out, getting together with friends etc. you’re better able to care for others. A burned out mother will eventually be unable to produce a caring and loving environment, so take care of yourself. Remember that your children feed off of you. What you sow into them is what you will reap later on in life.
- Enjoy it. Enjoy the poopy diapers. The midnight feedings. The diaper bag stuffed-to-the-rim toting days. The milestones reached. The sleepless nights. The tiring days. The baby smell. The coos and ahhs. The finger grasped tightly. Enjoy it A L L.
So here I am on the eve of my baby’s first birthday trying to soak in these last minutes of being the mom of a baby. And as look back my heart swells with gratitude towards God. He quieted all my fears. He gave me the strength to mother on those 2 am wake up calls. He gave me the wisdom I needed. He gave me the peace my mind looked for. He gave me the rest my soul needed. He gave me the love I so needed when I would beat myself up and be hard on myself. He gave me the desire of my heart and oh He knows how I desired this baby boy. He truly does give us the desires of our heart.
Tomorrow will be a new day. A new year. Ezra will be one. But in my heart he will always be my sweet baby boy. Holding on to my finger. Full of joy. Full of life. Small but mighty in the strength of the Lord and in His mighty power.