First smile. First tooth. First steps. Tiny moments in time, etched into a mother's heart forever.
Motherhood is the only aspiration I've always held, from the time I was a little girl until I became pregnant for the first time. My career goals changed constantly. Marine biologist (I can't swim, go figure). Nurse. Teacher (I actually have a degree for this little aspiration). Writer. Cake decorator. Through it all, being a mother was the one constant.
Nearly three years ago, this dream became a reality. My son was the sweetest surprise I've ever received. The first time I gave birth, I had no idea how my life would change. Bringing Big One home from the hospital sent my world into a tail spin. I remember sobbing as I stared at the computer wallpaper. A picture of Hubs and myself 7 months earlier on our trip to Puerto Vallarta. Two smiling adults, enjoying paradise. Blissfully unaware of the stark transformation our lives would soon undergo. A couple soon to become a family.
I cried for the end of our couplehood. Never again would it be just the two of us. I loved Big One from the beginning. I couldn't (and didn't want to) imagine life without him. But with any change, no matter how happy, there is a mourning of times gone by. The chapter of Hubs and Wifey was done. Written. Signed, sealed, delivered.
Our first steps into parenthood were full of sweat, tears, arguments, laughs, sleepless nights, hormones, questions, doubt, guilt, love. We found ourselves at the grocery store on Friday nights, not to pick up alcohol for a night of revelry, but for... groceries. Life as we knew it was no longer a reliable indicator of how to move forward. Big One paved the way, teaching us that parenting isn't an exact science.
Little One's grand debut introduced a new set of firsts. First trip to the grocery store with 2 small children (something I swore I'd never do but now we do it all the time). First time cloth diapering. First time sharing my love, time, attention with two kids (3 if you count Hubs). And of course all of the usual baby firsts.
The big firsts are exciting, but I want to relish all of the firsts. The first smiles, coos, conversations, laughs, hugs, kisses of each day. The first scraped knees of the summer. The first dances, stories, songs of the day. Too soon these firsts will make way for new firsts. The first day of school, first time tying shoes, first time behind the wheel of a car (please, no!), first date (again I say NO!). I want to sear all of these memories into my being. I always want to remember the feel of soft baby skin against my cheek. I want to hear the sound of Big One's laughter always. I want to relish the amazement of learning new things.
I will tuck all of these firsts away in my heart. I pen some of them in the journals I started for each child the day I saw the positive on the pregnancy test. These memories will wait silently to be recalled. Perhaps a flash of Big One's grown up smile will jar me back to these early days. Little One's grown up laughter may conjure up memories of years gone by. A song, a smell, a child running at the park. Whatever the reminder, these memories will wait patiently, ready to comfort me when I realize time has passed too quickly.
Check out A Frog in my Soup for more Firsts posts today. This post was based on a writing prompt from Writing Motherhood by Lisa Garrigues. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book!