If this past year set the pace, then I’m ready for a heartbreak.
Yesterday, at 1:58am, my little lady love turned a year old.
A year ago, I was staring at this tiny new person sleeping nestled against the warmth of my chest, trying out her name, growing familiar to the letters that spelled out her place in our family, as the three of us became four, separating to surround her, molding her into our hearts.
A year ago, I marveled at how perfect her skin was, how dark her eyes were, how much hair she had, how she was the exact image of Newly Born Bug six years before, how easily we slipped into our stride, the role of New Mother worn smooth.
A year ago, I wondered how someone so sudden could slide into our lives in three short pushes, clutching in her pink fist a significant piece of my heart, completely unaware of her magnetism as I struggled with the impossibility of absorbing her, of never, ever, ever letting her go.
A year ago, I thought I might maybe probably unlikely but slightly possibly get used to this feeling.
Today, I wonder how I ever even considered that.
Today, I watch her fall asleep in her crib, perched on her knees like a baby frog, as her long lashes slow their blink, my fingertips hovering over the sweet spot on the bridge of her nose, and sleep is irresistible.
Today, I look at my one-year-old and beg her to slow down, to sit down, to stay, in my lap, against my shoulder, in my arms, on my chest, my baby girl, my little Bean, my sweet belle who loves and chooses me over all the others.
Today, I am in awe of her laugh, her toothy grin growing ever brighter, her beauty as it steals my breath, her sense of humor, her curiosity, her mobility, her affection, her small hands, her chubby knees, her wispy hair, her open-mouthed kisses, the shape her lips make when she is on the verge of tears, the feel of her arm as she squeezes my neck, the sound of my name, my identity, on her tongue.
Today, nothing really has changed, except my Bean has grown from a fragile, sleeping, needy newborn to a mobile, agile, adventurous baby girl.
Today, I’m still hopelessly in love and growing more so. I’m still possessed by a need to be near her, constantly. I’m still watching, shell-shocked and jaw dropped, as she morphs before my very eyes, much more quickly than I am ready for. I am still completely and irrevocably stunned by her.
It’s been a year, and I’m still navigating the magic of motherhood, trying not to stumble through the looking glass.
Only today, I’ve got a billion more photographs.