I was a bit emotional today as we hid the decade mark since I gave birth for the first and only time. I both vividly remember and have forgotten a lot about that day. The days in between than and now have gone too quickly and too slowly.
From that day forward I have had a little girl I love more than I can explain. I have done things in the ensuing ten years solely to be an example to her, so she knows she can do anything. She has made me a different person, on top of making me a mother.
One of my absolutely favourite memories from my maternity leave – a full 52 weeks, which every parent should have access to – was our mornings.
For the first few months we put her crib in our room. She would wake up and wake me up, I would go and get her, make her a bottle and we would climb into the big bed and hang out together. I would stare at her, talk to her, take pictures, cuddle with her. Spending time quietly together, figuring each other out.
For a little while, I could put her in the middle of the room and trust that she would still be there, comfortably, if I had to leave the room. It was so easy to settle her and leave her to rest while I went and had a quick shower.
Soon enough she would start rolling and that because impossible. Eventually she found a way to escape every single thing we had to put her in, in an attempt to keep her in one place – her swing, her vibrating chair, her exersaucer. No three-point harness could hold her.
I watched as she turned herself upside down and pulled her legs out to free herself.
At six months she was crawling and by 10 months she was walking. As soon as she was walking she was running and dancing. It all led to cartwheels and flips.
But still, sometimes she comes in and all she wants is a hug and a cuddle, and maybe a backrub to help her fall asleep. Life, for her and for me, has gotten a lot more complicated. On days like today I look back at these pictures of my tiny baby and wonder where all the time went, but also remember so many things we’ve done that I couldn’t even begin to list them.
In another 10 years she’ll be 20, which I can barely fathom. Life will have completely changed multiple times over between there and here.
If I can continue to hold her steady, she will be on her way to great things.