Just like that March is approaching. The March after her first March.
Just like that there's a very pretty birthday party dress hanging in her wardrobe. Laying in wait with the tags attached.
Her first birthday. Promptly afterwards will commence her first seconds. Her second spring. Her second Easter. Gone are so many of her firsts. So many of my firsts. We lived them together. Her first bath was the first time I bathed one of my babies. Her first smile was the first time one of my babies smiled.
I am working through the sadness and wonderment of "where did my baby go?" I find myself arriving at an easiness with it all and happy for it. I don't feel like a new mum anymore so I am happy to shed some of that title. The last year and 9 months have been a journey. A powerful one I am proud and privileged to have taken. If the first birthday milestone on this journey earns me some kind of "experience stripe" I'll happily take it and proudly wear it. It's too easy and opportunities are too frequent to feel guilt when parenting not to treat yourself to a proud moment!
Do I miss newborn "mip" noises? Endless hours of bleary eyed, dozy feeds and cuddles? Yes. But I wouldn't swap it for knowing what I know about her now. What I get from her now. Being surprised by random, uncalled for, crawl-by, sloppy kisses. She doesn't get older, she gets better. And how much I am able to absorb it now so much of that new mum nervy fog has lifted.
I feel sure. I feel present. I feel confident and let no one wonder who's family this is... This is MY family.
Bring on the seconds. Imma own the seconds. Not before a few sentimental tears on the 7th though... Obviously.