It is staggering to think that a little over six months ago you were kicking away in my belly. Some days I can’t wrap my head around the fact that you exist at all. Part of me still feels like I am way too young to be a mother. Who thought this was a good idea?!
But, here you are. Grinning that delicious grin and reaching up with your chubby arms (and legs) to be lifted out of the crib each morning. Some mornings it takes my breath away.
Over the past six months, you have grown from a little ball wrapped in a swaddle blanket, blinking at the bright new world, to a giggly, smiling little person. I still can’t believe how lucky I am. How lucky your dad and I both are.
Somehow, by doing nothing more than showing up, you have turned me from a sarcastic, rough around the edges lady into a sappy mom all but crying at her keyboard just by thinking about you.
But, really. I can’t wait to see you grow. I can’t believe how much you have already grown.
The crazy thing about parenting is that if you do it right, your kids leave you. How messed up is that? I’m only just starting on this journey and it still seems like a raw deal. I know those years are going to go by so fast. Here are a few lessons I hope I manage to teach you.
I’m Not Perfect
Right now you are too young to understand that I am not made of gold. I have the boobs, and that seems good enough for you most days. For now, I’ll take it. But as you grow, I hope I have the strength to look you in the eyes and admit when I have been wrong. When I haven’t been as patient as I should have been or when I have failed you.
You Don’t Have to Be Perfect
Making mistakes is part of life. Being wrong is how you learn, as much as it may embarrass you or cause your friends or family pain. I will be there to help you pick up the pieces, baby girl. I promise.
Being a Girl Doesn’t Mean You Have To Like Princesses, But It Also Doesn’t Mean You Can’t
This one is hard for me. I spent a good portion of my life not being girlie because it seemed so closely related to being weak. (I still hate pink, and there is a reason I dress you in it as little as possible). Being a feminist is about being able to choose to like trucks or legos or princesses or ponies. So, if you decide, all by yourself, that you like princesses, I promise to buy you the frilly dresses.
That doesn’t mean I won’t be gritting my teeth while I do it. Fair is fair.
Don’t Be Afraid of Looking Stupid.
This is one of my greatest struggles, and I hope I can spare you this particular battle. Remember, it really does take more strength to fail than it does to succeed. Succeeding is easy – it is all back pats and paychecks. Failure is that burn in your cheeks and the hot tingling sensation on the top of your head. It is that vicious inner voice berating you for even trying. “Who do you think you are?” it says.
Hey, I am writing to my 6-month-old on the internet and trying to build a community that moms will actually want to join. I’d say I’ve come a long way, but it is still hard.
Baby girl, I can’t wait to watch you grow. I know I only have so much sway over how you turn out, but I hope I do you proud. I love you.
Featured Image: Unsplash | Eric Froehling
In Post Image: Taken By the Author, Used With Permission