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Be Here Now

Here, now. There’s no place on Earth I would rather be. I can’t possibly think of another “job” that could bring me such immense joy as motherhood already has. It is fulfilling even beyond my dreams. The mornings are early, but that just means I get to spend more time loving on this sweet child of ours. The dishes are never ending, but it’s because our girl is still eating like a (gourmet!) champ. The evenings come so fast, which is tolerable only because it allows me to witness the bond grow stronger and stronger between Daddy and daughter. I’m happy to report that not only does Julia look at us each time we enter a room now, she even giggles and shakes when Kevin walks through the door after work. As excruciating as it is for him to part with her in the mornings, the act of leaving and always returning has certainly bolstered her trust.

I have never felt so present in my life. Yet I have never felt time go by so quickly either. Something tells me this is the crux of parenthood. With each milestone passed, we are conflicted by great pride and heartache. Pride that Julia is learning, growing, and attaching beautifully. Heartache that she is doing so faster than we can fully relish. The dance is both difficult and beautiful, and the pace set entirely by her.

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She has only recently picked up the tempo to trust us, which has probably yielded the highest of highs. When it seemed for weeks all we wanted was for her to glance our way, we now cherish long stares into our eyes as we fill her belly with a bottle each night. Her dark gaze and footed jammies could crush your soul if you’re not careful. She touches our faces – tapping on our teeth and pinching our noses only to be surprised by a funny honk sound, which prompts more exploration. She often grabs our hands and guides them to something she needs help with. She no longer melts down during meals because she is confident another bite is coming shortly. And it warms our hearts each time she clings to our necks when she’s not ready to be put down in a new environment.

The rate of her physical growth has been even faster. She is getting healthier and stronger at what seems like warp speed. Her hair is thicker, shinier (note to self: start eating avocados every day), and has no trace of the coarseness in texture from just two months ago. Her skin is plump, soft, and clear. Her nails need trimming once a week, and she has eight teeth coming in – all the more to finally chew a few solid foods with! She has new sounds – zazaza! and lalala! She can pick up buttons with her pinchers. Her thighs are no longer “turkey leg” status, and the muscle is built up enough to support a few assisted steps!

Her countless unbearably cute facial expressions keep revealing themselves as her comfort level grows, and more signs of her true personality are continuing to shine through. I think we are going to have an “I do!” child on our hands, but that’s OK because both Kevin and I were that kid too. Her tenacity will take her great places if she learns to balance it well. Thank goodness we have a couple of great teachers in Gigi and Gram to guide us through this.

I could go on and on about all the little things that mean a big deal to us and all the major ways this child is changing us, but I think you get the picture. The little lotus is indeed blossoming right before our eyes, and yours too now (see below). What a spectacular thing this bloom is to witness.

Here, now. The place I wish I could tell my younger self to always be. Who knows what small, but truly meaningful moments like these I missed by fretting about the past and planning for the future as is so easy to do. Probably a lot… oh well. I’ll just count this as one more gift Julia has given us – presence. For the past two months we have been soaking up every second of this crazy blessed thing we call life and I am a forever changed woman. Amazing what a child can teach a 35-year-old who thought she already had a lot of things figured out. Thank you Julia, for this and for everything else you continue to do and be for us.

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"I am a lotus flower – delicate, fragile, yet strong... floating, unfolding, and blossoming into the life where I belong.”