Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Happy Way to Be Sad About the End of the First Year

Though I was probably the most rested I've been on a work day in a long time, I had none of my usual makeup on, my hair was a mess, and I wasn't even sure I was dressed.

I may or may not have left homemade deep-dish pizza where my dogs can reach (and eat) it. My alarm didn't go off. My phone was dead. I woke up 50 minutes late. I had gone to bed almost 2 hours earlier than I usually do. I slept almost as long as my 1-year-old did. It was gloriously un-fabulous. Just needed.

I meant to write last night, before sleep took me. My husband encouraging me to just go to sleep is what really did it. It was hard for me to ignore the dishes in the sink, the dirty floors, the dinner unmade, the groceries in the car.

I meant to write about what a shitty day I'd had. I traced my mood back to shopping at Target. Great deals on baby clothes this time of year. I saw outfits in green with little white shamrocks on them reading "My first St. Patrick's Day."

And I cried. I cried because I already have my daughter's first St. Patrick's Day outfit, and especially because she's already worn it. Last year. I remember getting it as a gift from my in-laws and thinking she'd never be big enough to wear it. She's long outgrown it now.

I've never wished for a time back so hard; and especially not a time so recent. It was only 9 months ago. That makes me happy, a little, in that now my past consists of more things I'm proud of, more happy memories, more joy.

I wasn't myself with my daughter after that moment in Target last night. We were downtrodden. We had a rough day, both of us.

I gave people nasty looks in the parking lot and hurried as much as I could. I got home and fed my daughter dinner of blueberries and reheated deep-dish pizza. Mom of the year.

She laughed a little. She loves cheese. I got my saddest realizing that her first birthday marked the end of a year of firsts. She would never again have a first holiday; she wasn't my baby anymore, suddenly, and I could never get that time back. She then, like so many times in the last year, taught me something without saying a word. Her joy at tasting the pizza showed me that, if we're lucky, this is just the beginning. That though she's had her first Christmas, she has yet to make a list for Santa. Though she's had her first teeth come up, she hasn't had her first run-in with the tooth fairy.

And I smiled. It's easy to be sad about your baby's first year coming to an end, but it's better to be excited for so many firsts that aren't marked by a too-cute Target outfit. Better to be present for the little things, like a first taste of Chicago-style pizza. Better to hope that she has a lifetime full of firsts, that she's never too old to try something new. I hope she smiles every time like she smiled about that pizza.

I didn't leave the pizza out like I'd thought; the dogs didn't eat it. I didn't have a terrible day once I looked at it a little differently, and once I took the time to be present with my daughter's smile. My hair is still a mess. I'm not sure what I'm wearing. Makeup? Ha. But I'm smiling, now, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment