Looking back, I can see that nearly the entire first year of his life, I was just doing my very best to keep my head above water. And hold onto my sanity. I didn't have energy for much else.
I am finally in a place where I feel so excited to wake up every day and see what milestone he is going to conquer next. Instead of dreading his constant crying, administering his next breathing treatment, waiting for him to get sick again, etc.. Our days are (dare I say) fun, and we are totally best friends. He makes me laugh harder than anyone else and I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm the weirdest lady around ;)
Maybe newborns aren't, "my thing" as much as I thought they were.. Because although this whole 1 year old stage is straight chaos and I can never keep up with his path of destruction, I absolutely LOVE it. He's growing and learning and it is SO FUN to watch. Which is something I don't think I understood until I became a mother. I used to be so confused as to why people thought it was sooooo oober amazing that their baby had learned to roll over.. Pretty sure a dead animal can roll over.. So what's the big whoop about that? But all these little milestones are what you live for as a mama.
Speaking of- Will offically started walking TONIGHT!! He hasn't even been anywhere near walking until wam bam, I had the genius idea to pull out a bowl of ice cream! And you can bet money that he was practically running by the end of the night just to get a bite.
I asked my mom a couple months ago, "Do you think I'm still fun?" To which she replied, "You're probably not as fun as you used to be. But- you've got a new life.." In no way did she mean it in a negative way. But it really shook me. I feel like in the midst of becoming a mom, I was losing my identity. Where had that fun, careless girl gone? Am I a boring mom now?
After stewing over it for far too long, I came to this conclusion:
I am a new version of me. I've grown in countless ways. Some of which I'm extremely proud of. Some of which I am scared to let myself see (namely myself, in mom jeans). I am learning how to grow into my new self; my wife and mother self. I'm finding old pieces of me and putting them back together, just in a slightly different order. It will probably take some time, and that's okay.
I'm really just grateful that life is finally normalling out.
A couple days ago, I sat down on the kitchen floor and Will came and laid on my knee. We sat, ate our string cheese together, and had a good heart-to-heart for a solid 15 minutes. (When does a baby ever give you their complete attention for 15 minutes!?) I talked to him and he looked at me like he knew exactly what I was saying. And he would reply just like we were two ladies on a lunch date chatting about the weather. He looked at me like I was the most important person in the world. I've realized that moments like that are what make motherhood so sacred and special.
The night before Will turned one, I laid in my bed and quietly cried myself to sleep. Like any normal, sentimental mother would do on the eve of their babies birthday, right? Except I was mostly crying because guess what? We made it. One whole year. We made it through the clouds just in time to see the sun. I finally caught the rainbow. My babe is healthy and happy. In that moment, I knew Heavenly Father was with me, telling me that he was proud of me for hangin' in there.
It was the biggest wave of peace I had felt in a long, long time.
I should probably give a very big thank you to everyone who helped me feel normal during this past year and made me realize that being a parent is hard on everyone in different ways. Namely my adorable parents. They would drop anything in a heart beat to help me. I kid you not- I called and sobbed to my mom countless times over this past year and she always had a way to make me feel better. My dads wisest piece of advice was, "I actually don't think I have advice for you, Laur.. That kid is just something else." Haha ;)
And for everyone who adores our sweet Will. One of the most stressful things for me was thinking that no one would love him because he was so obnoxious. Because seriously- he was kinda obnoxious. But in some odd way, Chris and I both felt that people loved him even more because of it. Not because he was obnoxious, but because of his dominant quirky little personality. He has gotten so much positive attention from family, friends and neighbors and I honestly know that it helped me love him through the hard times when I wanted to abandon him in his crib for a couple hours.
I realize this post makes me sound like I just made it through a year of intense chemotherapy of something. When really, all I did was have a baby.. But that sweet boy just so happened to through me for the biggest loop of my life. But I made it guys, I MADE IT.
And holy crap I have the cutest baby alive.