So far this journey has taught me a lot.
That you can cope with so much more than you would ever imagine. You adapt. You’re really no stronger than the next parent. You have no ‘super power’ or special knowledge on how to get by. You just have a beautiful child that you would go to the ends of the earth for.
Friendships change. Some drift away, some you push away unintentionally. You meet wonderful people who you admire. Some who inspire you. You can become immersed in your own little bubble.
It really is true that you begin a new kind of normal.
Something I heard time and again from other parents was how much my child would amaze me. In all honestly I didn’t really understand at the time. Those early weeks and months were just trying to get through each day one tiny step at a time.
But not now. Now I see it every day. My girls strength and determination. Her fun and fight. Yes indeed she amazes me! And more. She’s full of surprises.
Like the first time she hit a toy in front of her when I thought she never would. When she was recovering in hospital and grabbed hold of a rattle. When she took the spoon as I fed her, put it to her mouth and bit down. The piece of food she took from my hand and sucked. The time she passed her dummy from one hand to the other, and held her bottle for the first time.
And most recently, the kisses she gives. The excitement of seeing her daddy after work or grabbing her sisters face as they laugh and interact. The way she is engaging with the music end credits to ‘In the night garden’ – although this could be attributed to her excitement that igglepiggle has buggered off to bed. The end!!
If you had asked me when or how I felt when Maisy did those same things, I can’t answer. I don’t even know.
I’m not saying bigger things aren’t important. Her first smile (7weeks), her first laugh (4months), her first roll over (5 months). I just see all the little stepping stones that leads into the big stuff. And it’s at a much slower pace.
I’m also not saying I don’t get sad about the big stuff. I’m not saying I’m not sad about how I have to teach her to sit, to chew, to bang a toy, to clap. I have to teach her over and over and over and over (you get the picture) the things I took for granted with Maisy. The things Maisy just did.
And teaching her is hard. She cries, she resists, she finds it hard and it tires her out. I feel helpless in those moments, and it hurts my heart. Sometimes I just feel frustrated that she’s frustrated and I wonder why things have to be this way. But I told myself a while ago I wouldn’t let bitterness take over my mind and soul. So I try not to have too many of those moments.
Yes I wish for an easier life for her, but then I wouldn’t have seen her resilience, her determination and her stubbornness to set her own time limit. And I wouldn’t feel the joy I feel when all the hard work pays off.
And when she sits that first time with no wobbles, when she chews her first meal, when she bangs on that drum or claps her little hands. I will be her biggest cheerleading jumping up and down on the sidelines. Telling the world that my girl just did that!