Dear Sweet Bug,
You have entered this amazing stage of your life in which you have simutaneously made me the happiest Momma ever and the most broken human I’ve ever been. You have this manipulative way of dominating the world around you through sheer cuteness. There is no other human more important than my Bug <3. I love you so much.
Could you possibly slow down on the “growing” bit though? The simple act of lifting you up to wash your hands is turning into a greater challenge than that week I tried to Powerlift 500 or whatever that crazy weightlifting craze I subscribed to until I remembered how much I valued such things as “sitting down unassisted” and/or “getting off the toilet without needing to phone a friend to come over and assist.”
[Spoiler Alert] It’s getting increasingly more difficult to sustain a life outside of motherhood. Prior to quitting my job I had this vision in my mind’s eye that being a stay at home mom would mean that I would have time to pursue my own personal dreams whilst spending more time with you. The only accuracy in that vision was the quality of time with you has increased a tenfold.
I got to see your first steps the day after Father’s Day. I heard you say your first phrase (Thank you). The first time you climbed on the couch by yourself was one of the most terrifying moments in my motherly life. The independence you exhibit is truly astonishing and amazing.
We spent the summer going to splash pads and play dates rather than daycare and hastefully planned outings. Your socialization is coming along rather nicely.
A month back (I know, I’m grossly behind on letters to you, I’m sorry Bug), we were at the playground within Barton Springs mall with our friends Vivian and her daughter. You didn’t have any interest in playing with others, but a child a month younger than you came up to you and planted a kiss on your lips without warning. You looked so confused and bewildered. Then… the face. OMG your resting bitch face is on point. You have this general look of “WTF” you issue to anyone acting outside of your expectation. It is the most classic look in your facial vocabulary.
On to the basic stuff…
At 17 months, you are a wonder to me. You’re babbling up a storm and recently started using sign language to communicate whether or not you’re hungry and what kind of sustenance you’re after (solid food or boob). You’re still working on communicating (using words) whether or not you need a new diaper or whether or not you’re tired, but you have your own way of communicating.
Diaper changes are normally instigated when you decide to rip your own diaper off and run around the home bare assed with reckless abandon. You will pee on the toilet if I catch you at the right time in the morning. We will be starting potty training soon (whenever Mommy gets off her lazy tush and procures you a proper kiddie potty). Just another example of how you’re growing up way too fast <3.
When you’re tired you omit the most brain boggling, ear drum tearing whine that cannot be mistaken for anything less than “get me the fuck to bed.” You refuse to nap alone, you prefer the comfort of boob and cuddles over the solitude of the crib. Mommy holds and sings you to sleep whilst you fight sleep like alertness owes you money.
For the most part, you’re sleeping pretty well through the night. There are times you wake up desperately seeking comfort and cuddles, but only around troubling times like when you’re teething hardcore (molars are the devil) or you had a nightmare.
Your favorite food, by far, is blueberries. The diversity and voracity you once exhibited towards vegetables has waned quite a bit. It’s starting to get challenging to get you to try anything new unless it’s blended into a smoothie or hidden in a bed of pasta somehow. You dig on trying new flavor profiles though, most recently exploring Korean cuisine. I’m so happy you have an adventurous palate (for the most part) and look forward to trying many new things with you in the future <3!
But, back to the elephant in the room that I alluded to earlier. I selfishly crave time to recharge, to be creative in my own space without needing to share with the love of my life (that’s you, Bug <3). It’s a struggle that I debated keeping from these letters to you because I didn’t want to give you the bad impression that you’re a burden, or worse, that I have any regrets taking this time with you.
Truth is, living life with you at this stage is the single most fulfilling chapter of my life.
These letters to you are being written with the intent of offering you a little bit of insight on what it is really like to be a mother. If I were to withhold this struggle from you, I would not be talking from the most authentic place in my heart. It. Is. Hard.
The thing no one ever talked to me about going into motherhood is the risk of losing your own identity in the chaos of things. It is incredibly important as you move through life that you keep this in mind. I realize now that it’s not just Motherhood that threatens being authentic with your identity, but so many other commitments in this world. Relationships, employment status, health… so many things will compromise your ability to stay the course. Be mindful, keep your eye on the prize.
For me, raising the kind, generous, friendly, smart, adventurous, and happy person you have become is my prize. I have hit the lottery. You inspire and amplify everything that I am, and I will never be able to voice to you in words how incredibly impactful your influence upon my life is.
When everything seems to be crumbling around you, and you feel like you are losing a piece of yourself… look around and see what you’ve gained. In my case, I gained the love of the most incredible human I have ever met (that’s you, Bug <3). If you look around, and see no gain, turn around. Retry.
I spent way too much time in my life looking around and seeing nothing around me. You have been the first thing in my life that I can honestly say I would sacrifice everything for and still be grateful. I love you with about as much voracity and happiness as you have running around the house naked AF dancing to My Little Pony songs and eating blueberries.
Keep being amazing Sweet Bug <3. Mommy and Daddy love you xoxo.