I started this post 2 weeks ago on a Sunday night when we celebrated Zelly's first birthday and her cousin Emma's 11th birthday. I uploaded the pictures and then just sat in front of the computer with writer's block. What could I say about my baby turning 1? I ended up shutting the computer, unable to write about the conflicting emotions of the day.
So here I am 2 weeks later, still struggling with how to express my feelings as a mother, whose last baby is emerging from babyhood. There's a lot to celebrate with my baby turning one--I made it through that sometimes very difficult, sleep-deprived first year. Plus, the future is full of the possibility of car trips without a crying baby, of nights without wailing coming through the monitor, of family vacations where we can all do the same things, of sitting through church being able to listen, of days without being tied to nap schedules or feedings.
But tonight I'm mourning the end of babies, of a little one falling asleep snuggled next to me, of a little head on my shoulder, of that new baby smell and the soft little new baby skin, of the excitement that comes with the positive pregnancy test, the talk of names, and the anticipation of meeting the little one kicking inside me. As a Mormon woman, a great portion of my life has involved the looking forward to having babies. It's strange--and sad--to be at the end of that phase.
I found this poem I wrote over 6 years ago when Sweetie was turning 2 that seems fitting now:
"To Sweetie, on Making Your Birthday Cake"
The preparation is important
Cake-making takes time and a delicate touch.
Icing drips from the knife--
I smooth it over the surface,
a thin layer to keep the crumbs in,
some of which escape.
Icing lines my wrist
my fingers stained pink
with the effort.
Cake-making is a messy process.
I hope you do not mind that
it is not perfect.
Some day you will notice
my smoothed-over mistakes.
I am not always good
This year, petals with two icing layers
candy details, licorice swirls,
sweet butterflies and bees to hover
over my creation.
Perhaps I should not take such care,
spend time on finishing touches.
It’s just a birthday cake,
Soon to be poked, pried, patted
licked and loved
by two-year-old fingers.
It will be gone before I know it.
So I must savor every mouthful
every delicious bite.
Well, back to the party details. We had an Uno party for the Uno girl.
She tore into her cake, which surprised me, because she's a pretty chill baby and not very aggressive.
She had a lot of help with her presents!
A little about Zelly at age 1: she hates whole milk, chocolate milk, strawberry milk, and water. She's just barely tolerating juice. She'll drink the whole milk when mixed half and half with formula. Because, you know, formula tastes so much better than chocolate milk. Silly girl. Formula is for babies! She loves bananas, yogurt, fruit loops, graham crackers, and soup. She takes 2 short naps (30 min) a day. Half of the time one of the naps is an hour and a half and we all cheer and say prayers of gratitude. She loves books read to her. She hates her hair bows and loves her shoes (and everyone else's). She falls apart around 6pm and is asleep by 7 at the latest. Her favorite thing to do is climb into anything she can climb into, as evidenced by these pics:
She gives the best "loves" in the world!