All week I've been trying to put into words how I'm feeling as my baby girl turns one today. My littlest, probably my last. I keep starting and restarting, tossing aside the words that don't do justice to the raw ball of emotions that's been making me tear up, sob even, every time I think over this past year. I can't seem to find the eloquence or grace to put into words the ups and downs of it all, this year that's been so much more intense than the first time around.
It's been a rough one. So much harder than I would have, could have ever imagined. While all those well meaning folks stop to look at my two beautiful children, telling me, "Enjoy every minute," (a phrase that will hit you like a gut punch when you've had a morning like mine) I've been holding onto words of honesty from a dear friend.
The year her second was born, she said, was the hardest year of her life. And while I don't want to dwell or wallow, I've held onto that friend's honest words like a lifeline.
I'm feeling so many things all at once, and my head and heart are whirling around so fast I can't stay grounded.
Sadness. That I didn't (couldn't) savor more of the moments. That I didn't get more time to just hold her. That I didn't get more time to just read to him, cuddled on my lap as he turned from two to three. That maybe that might be the last time I get to hold my own tiny sleepy human on my chest, that maybe that's the last time I'll nurse a tiny nursling.
Worried. That it won't get easier. That life is always just going to be this hard. That I'm thinking about the future too much, wishing for easier, instead of being right here, enjoying who they are right now.
Relieved. That we've made it through the one year mark. That life still happened, though not quite as usual. We ate. We worked. We played. We were angry, sad and happy, often all at the same time.
Wishful. For more patience. For more balance. For more sleep. To feel a little bit more human and a little less mom all the time.
Tired. Just, so tired. Levels of exhaustion and burn out that I didn't even know a human could function at. And in desperate need of some self care.
But most importantly, grateful. That I've got two healthy awesome kids. An incredible giving husband who carries the burden of supporting us financially and comes home with endless amounts of patience for our two children.
When I look back over this past year, this is mostly what I see. A frazzled mom trying to keep it all together, yes, that too, but mostly my beautiful, amazing children. And oh, how their grown-ness makes me weep.
Things will be easier, someday. Someday we won't have so many money worries and we'll have the freedom to go for a trip, a drive, to a yoga class, or *gasp* have a movie marathon and some good solid knitting time. And then we'll see some young parent in the grocery store and tell them that it all goes by so fast. Which is to say, God, what I wouldn't give to hold my baby one more time.
Today, I'm holding on tight to my babies. The one who made her entrance into the world one year ago today, and the one whose world was rocked on that day, and every day since.