On Saturday, my dearest Minnow turned one. It’s hard to believe that it was already a year ago that she was born after an mostly uneventful pregnancy and a natural, and manageable, labor and delivery. She was so tiny, and so fragile, and it seemed like all I could do was hold her and watch her and marvel in her.
And now, just 52 weeks later, she’s a little person who walks and babbles and has distinct likes (peaches, her stuffed polar bear, and falling asleep in Mommy’s arms) and dislikes (changing into jammies, getting her head rinsed off). She can happily play for 20 minutes or so without my intervention, especially if there are pots and pans to bang and items to take in and out of drawers.
She’s no longer an infant, and as strange as that might sound, I mourn that a little. Every day I rejoice in Minnow’s toddlerhood, in her newfound abilities, in her sense of adventure, and in her enthusiastic courage to explore the world around her. But I miss the tiny baby who would wriggle on her changing table for 10 minutes delighted with her mobile, and I miss the tiny baby that could sleep so comfortably in my lap, leaving me with a hand free to read a book. I miss the little bitty bath tub and the little bitty head with hardly any hair, but a noticeable soft spot. I miss the baby who would stay where I set her, but that may be more pragmatic than nostalgic. I can understand now, where I couldn’t before, how moms with healthy marriages and without stressful jobs, can choose to have children 2 or 3 years apart. The lust for a little tiny cuddly baby has begun to creep into my heart.
But there is so much now to delight in – like watching Minnow discover birthday cake (all three of us were covered in chocolate frosting by the time it was over) or reading books with Minnow and having her turn the pages herself – and not just to chew them. Seeing her interact with other children, and even try to mother younger babies. Having babbling conversations with her and listening to her infectious and unrestrained laughter, and then joining in.
Minnow is the best part of my life. I love her more than I ever thought it was possible to love someone, and I love her without judgment and with wild abandon. She amazes and delights me every day. I am so blessed.