For Laci's first birthday, I wanted to write her something special. I even left space in her baby book for my letter to her. But the words weren't there yet. The words didn't come until closer to her second birthday when I wrote the following. Looking back, it's more about how motherhood has changed me rather than about who Laci is.
So many of my expectations of being a mother have been exceeded and so many things have been surprises. The chaos I expected. It’s hard to remember the joy in the moments of chaos. I love watching Laci experience new things and being so in awe of life. I expected that and have looked forward to that “renewness” that comes with a child. I love the simplicity of our life together. I didn’t realize that I could be so content and happy with our boring little simple life. We do the same things every day. We don’t go to play groups or story time at the library. We don’t go to concerts in the park or special events. We play, watch TV, walk around the neighborhood, throw rocks in the pond and swing. But it is truly a case of the “ordinary being extraordinary”.
I have often heard people talk about the intense love for your child that you receive when they are born. They describe it as indescribable and it can’t be felt until your child is born and placed in your arms. They say that it’s not about you anymore and you learn how to live your life for someone else. I never had that intense feeling. At first I wondered why and I wondered if I was missing something. Then I realized that it wasn’t a change for me because I have always loved Laci like that and always lived my life for her. Every decision I have ever made has been in anticipation of her.
I always expected a feeling of my child being “mine”. I am surprised that I don’t feel like Laci is mine. I look at her and I know that half of her DNA is mine and half of her DNA is Charlie’s. But she is 100% all Laci. I don’t feel like she belongs to me. I don’t look at her and think “she is mine”. I look at her and see God’s child. Every night I rock her to sleep. I know I shouldn’t but I need those ten minutes with her. It’s for me as much as it is for her. Charlie can teach her to fall asleep on her own when it is his turn to put her to bed. As I rock her to sleep, I look at her and see God’s child. My angel on earth. We are two of God’s children rocking together. I feel like I am just borrowing her from God. He has given me the greatest gift to parent this child. In a sense, I feel like her guide through life. It’s my job to bring out the best in her, to give her the tools and confidence to get through life, to make her own decisions. She is God’s and she belongs to the world. I have been entrusted with her childhood. That is an awesome responsibility. I hope I don’t screw it up. At 18, she is an adult. I know that parenting doesn’t end at 18. But I pray that at 18, she has the tools she needs and that she knows her parents are always there for her.
When we rock at night, she puts her little arms around me, pats me on the back and hugs me. She is my daughter and I am her mommy.