As impossible as this may seem, our little “baby” boy has a birthday this week. He’s turning the big THREE! No, YOU’RE crying.
You always hear about how fast time flies, but you never fully understand it until one day, you randomly find a tiny baby sock and burst into tears. (That’s never happened to me… just to a friend of mine.) I love seeing my boy grow and change, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little extra nostalgic this week. You might want to go grab your ruby slippers, because we’re taking a walk down the yellow brick memory lane.
Three years ago tonight, we were spending our last night at home as a family of two. We were excited, anxious, nervous and were counting down the minutes until we became parents. We woke up the next morning and spent the day taking care of last minute preparations. We triple checked the hospital bag, made sure the nursery was perfect for our arrival home, and left our apartment for the last time as a couple. It was so surreal to know that the next time we walked through that door, we would have our baby with us. That night, we arrived at the hospital and I was induced. And so began the journey…
After 32 long hours of sweat, tears, no sleep, hell worthy pain and plenty of cursing… he was here! Our beautiful Weston – 8lbs and 21 inches of pure perfection. I will never forget the moment that he was placed onto my chest. His face, his skin, his smell, his cry… they will forever be etched into my memory. I couldn’t believe that this tiny little human who took my breath away, was my son. This child whom I’d grown and felt inside me; to whom I’d spoken, sung and read to for 9 months. This child that I had stayed up all night thinking about, wondering what color eyes he would have or who he would look like. He was finally here… and he was all mine. In a matter of one single moment, I was a mom. With one final push, I had given birth to a whole new life – not just his, but my own. I had changed my entire world. I looked at him and he looked at me, and time stopped. Everything faded away and it was just the two of us. I honestly thought my heart was going to burst right out of my chest. I didn’t feel the exhaustion or the leftover pain. I just felt utter, complete, mind consuming, over the moon happiness. I cried, I laughed, I breathed a sigh of relief and then I cried some more. I kissed the top of his head and whispered, “I’ve been waiting my whole life to meet you.” I knew right then what a perfect moment felt like and that nothing would ever compare.
Then they actually let us take him home and the real fun began.
Motherhood has been everything I always pictured it to be, but better. Don’t get me wrong… it’s hard. Like, super effing hard. But even the hardest, longest, most exhausting days are still a million times better than any day I ever lived without him.
People always say that having a child changes you, but I never grasped how true that was until it happened to me. Motherhood has changed me in the best way, in every way. Since the day I found out I was pregnant, I’ve tried to be better. Do better. I’ve tried to be kinder, smarter and more compassionate. I’ve tried to be someone that he could be proud of – someone that he deserves. Years later and I still make the conscious effort to try every single day. I might not always get it right, I might be far from perfect… but when you have someone looking up to you, constantly watching your every move and listening to your every word… you want to make sure they’re following in worthy footsteps. I don’t need him to look at me like I’m a hero. I want him to mirror me, so that he can be his own hero (or someone else’s) one day.
Over the past three years, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned that I’m a million times stronger than I ever thought. I’ve learned about patience… boy, have I learned about patience. I’ve learned how to let go of the small stuff so that I can be in the moment. I’ve learned about true sacrifice and selflessness. I’ve learned that kids need YOU, not things… and that a mothers love can heal almost all wounds. I’ve learned that dealing with a toddler is like negotiating with a terrorist… that “no job is too big and no pup is too small”… and that milk in the wrong cup can ruin the whole day. Most importantly, I’ve learned that I’ll never stop learning. I’ve learned that because I’m a mother, I will continue to learn more and more each day for the rest of my life… and I’m so thankful to my son for always teaching me those lessons.
Oh, my little (almost) three-nager; this walking, talking little person that I created. I couldn’t be more proud. He’s a ball of energy. He’s charismatic and imaginative. He’s so smart and blows me away with what comes out of his mouth. He makes me laugh like no one else in the world can. He’s stubborn, strong willed and always keeps me on my toes. He’s the kindest little soul I’ve ever met. He’s caring, protective and loving. He’s sensitive and nurturing, and he feels things very deeply for someone so young. He’s the light in every dark day and the reason for every good day. I could go on and on, but you get it. I’m pretty fond of him.
One last thing, before I run out of tissues and have to use my sleeve.
To my dear, sweet boy…
Thank you for teaching me how to love… really love. Thank you for allowing me to grow and learn alongside of you. Thank you for choosing me. I made you, but you made me a mother. Three years is just the beginning of how long I’ll love you.
All I ask of you is one thing:
Be young, be wild, and be three.