Y’all, I have a 14 month old, as of today.
I don’t even have anything profound to say about it, other than HOLY SHIT, look at what she can DO! She understands almost everything we tell her. She can locate her head, ears, bellybutton, and toes. She climbs up the stairs and hugs her stuffed animals. She signs more, please, all done, thank you, and eat. She throws her arms in the air to be picked up and runs at top speed towards your knees to hug you. She knows I’m Mama and J is Mommy, even though she calls us both Dada. She can sort of say cat, dog, duck, and J SWEARS she once said umbrella.
I thought for sure, once I was out of it, that the first three months of her life were the hardest thing I would ever have to live through. And I was right, to a certain extent, but now, it’s just as hard, but in a DIFFERENT way (I know, I’m slow). Now I have to teach her to be kind and share her toys. I have to teach her to use a fork and to access the slide from the ladder part, not by scaling the slide itself. I have to be a better, kinder, more gentle, patient person than I ever was before, not only because she’s still a baby, but because she’s watching.
That also means I have to stand up for myself more- she’s blond to my brunette, and I don’t look “gay,” so people ask me all sorts of questions about my husband and where she got her coloring, and it’s no longer good enough to mumble something about “them” and hope the lack of pronoun slides by. I’m not ashamed of where she came from or how she got here, and she shouldn’t be either- and she’s not going to learn to be at MY knee.
Just by virtue of EXISTING, she’s making me work hard to be a better person, and I can honestly say I had no idea that’s what motherhood would be about. I have been unable to predict even a moment of this whole thing. GOOD LORD, IS IT MAUDLIN IN HERE OR WHAT?
She’s funny and she’s silly and she’s mine. Here’s to you, kid.