I’m pretty sure it’s mama-normal to obsessively pin birthday crepe-cake recipes and search for a helium source for a 3 ½-foot “2” balloon. I also think it’s natural to get kind of weepy and reflective as your tiny human finishes her second trip around the sun.
In the past two years, I’ve learned a hundred things. Maybe a million. What babies do. What toddlers do. How moms do stuff. How moms do stuff one-handed. How moms do stuff one-handed in the dark.
But at the end of the day, and at the end of the two years, I’ve only learned two things that really matter:
I’m still me. Sure, parenthood changes everyone to some degree or another. But after two years on the merry-go-round, I’m still the same person – determined (some may call it stubborn) as can be, with eyes bigger than my stomach and a magnetic attraction to adventure. It sometimes plays out differently with a toddler running around, but I’m amazed, surprised and – truthfully – relieved that I’m still in there.
That I’m the person my daughter will know, with all my pluses and minuses, and that she’ll be shaped by them both.
My daughter is her. I loved the swaddled-up, fairly useless newborn phase with every hormonal fiber of my milk-soaked being, but I’ve loved even more getting to know this little person with her own way of seeing the world. I see pieces of myself, and of my husband, in her – but mostly I see her. Her way of learning and loving and layering the striped legwarmers over the striped pants over the striped socks.
And my equally exhilarating and terrifying job is to help her do her.