Almost a year ago to the day a little girl was brought into my life and forever changed it. Everyone tells you before you have a child that your life will change, but until I experienced it for myself I never quite understood. Here's just a snapshot of what I have learned over the past year.
So Much More...LOVE
I love the saying "no one will ever know the strength of my love for you. After all, you are the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside". My love for Maile is so far beyond what words can express. I love her fingers, toes, curly hair, brown eyes, chubby cheeks, crooked teeth, contagious laugh, silly sense of humor, and loving personality. I love her hugs and kisses. I love when she sees me at the end of the day and literally runs into my arms when I open the door to her classroom. I love every moment being with her-the hard times and the easy times. I love every single thing about my daughter. It is a true and unconditional love that is unique to a mother-daughter relationship. When they say you don't remember what your life was like before you had kids it is true, and honestly I don't want to remember.
So Much More...RESPONSIBILITY
I'm not talking about financial responsibility or not having the freedom to do things like I once did. I am talking about the responsibility I have to Maile to make her the best person she can be. From little things like teaching her colors, numbers, and the alphabet, to the big things in life like having dreams to chase, goals to achieve, morals to live by, and how to treat others. I am responsible for the young child, teen, and adult she will become and that starts now. We are already teaching her manners and how to behave in a restaurant, how to be gentle and loving, and how to show affection. It is incredible how much she understands. Her verbal skills may not be developed, but she has such a vast understanding of our vocabulary that I am in awe of her everyday. My hope and prayer is that she becomes a young woman who is confident, social, and has integrity in all situations.
So Much More...PRIDE
Every parent you see at a child's sporting event or school play is bursting with pride. Their child is the best and brightest-hands down. That comes from unconditional love. Maile makes me so proud. Although her achievements are quite different at her age than scoring a goal in her soccer game or getting an "A" on her math test, she makes me so proud nonetheless. When I ask her to lower her voice in a restaurant and she does-proud mama! When I ask her to be polite and wave hi when someone speaks to her-proud mama! When I ask her to sign "more please" for more food-proud mama! Not only is it when she obeys and follows instructions that I am proud, but every time I see that she has mastered a new skill. From understanding a new word, figuring out a new toy, saying a new word, the list goes on and on. I am just so proud and so grateful to be her mom.
So Much More...TO LEARN
With just one year of parenthood under my belt I am the first to admit I have a lot to learn. Before Maile was born I was so nervous that I wouldn't know when she was hungry, when she was full, or when she wasn't feeling well. The day she was born those worries disappeared and it just came naturally. Mother's intuition is a real thing and it totally takes over. With each stage of her life I am sure that those same worries will resurface. I see friends and family who have older children dealing with all kinds of different situations that come along with growing up and I have no clue what I would do if I were in their shoes. But I am coming to realize that is pretty normal. And I will figure it out. Part of parenthood is definitely making mistakes, but I hope and pray no mistakes I make are detrimental to Maile's happiness or well-being. I have a lot to learn but that is part of the magical journey called motherhood.
Maile has changed my life in every way imaginable. At times it is so natural and easy. At times it is so hard that I have to take a deep breath and audibly tell myself everything is going to be ok. But one thing is always true- I am excited each day to wake up and see what that day has in store for me, and that is a feeling I never had before becoming Maile's mom. She is my miracle baby and reminds me how blessed I am every single day.