Just over a year ago, I became a mama again. It was a snowy spring day, and her daddy rushed me to the hospital around midnight. We were the only patients in the new Mother Baby Center in the middle of the night, and we were thrilled. She came one day before her due date.
Over the past year, I've watched this little sister grow and develop into her own personality - a very sweet, happy, engaging personality. She wants to connect; she wants to play. When she cries, her big sister rushes up to her and says, "It's okay, I'm right here, it's okay." It seems to calm her sometimes, and make her laugh other times. She thinks her big sister is hilarious (we all do, really).
I used to say she was sweet and serene even when she was in my belly. Over the past year I believe she fulfilled that prophecy, although lately I've been wondering if it was all just part of her newborn/baby year. As an early toddler, there is a little more spice involved. She knows how to fuss when we put her in the carseat (she hates it at first), she shows disgust when we close the computer or take away something she shouldn't be holding. She also HATES having her face and hands wiped after eating a messy meal. My 24-7 calm girl is no more.
I do feel it's important to not expect our children to become exactly what we had thought from the beginning - we want growth and development and that won't happen if we give them labels at birth and continue to reinforce these labels throughout their childhood.
However, I would love a few more moments of my baby as a baby. A few more of those sweet neck nuzzles, when she flops her head on my chest and goes to sleep. I would like to hold her tiny hand, with her fingers wrapped around mine, and I would like a few more mid-afternoon naps together, with her cuddled up next to my belly. I would like a few more rounds of peek-a-boo and "soooo big!" before she thinks these games are too simple. When your little one is one it's easy to feel that a year has flown by, and wonder how we will ever stop time and cherish the next 3, or 5, or 10, or 20?
I have recently built a new schedule for my days where I spend a lot more time with my little one and her big sister- and it's been a way for me to really focus on the little things, the connection, the small games and huge developments.
Some may be wondering if the little one will always be a little one, or maybe a middle one, but that is yet to be determined. All I know now is how different this next year will be, and how my time with these two and their daddy isn't something to be taken for granted. So, you can find us this spring and summer taking walks to the park, jumping in the bouncy house, grabbing tight to little fingers, trying new foods, and exploring the great big beautiful world together.