Wednesday, January 26, 2022

We Turned One

Zoe's one!  She's so old now and still so very, very young.  She's suddenly this little person with a mind of her own, with an acute awareness of the world and with a red hot sense of agency.  Yet, she's still taking life a day at a time, experiencing every ounce of the present, with very little concern for the past or the future.  Of course, she had no idea on the morning of January 26th that she had woken up on such a momentous day, and she will likely not remember the smash cake or the balloons.  But we're not just celebrating for her sake--we're celebrating us!  In those many endless, exhausting days and nights last year, it really felt impossible to picture where we'd all be in a year.  On this day, we can proclaim that we somehow made it through 365 days of this crazy thing called parenting.  I am filled with elation and disbelief that we made it through all of those uncertain and frustrating times.  It's kind of like that feeling you get when you're surveying the view on a clear day upon reaching the top of a peak after a long, grueling hike.  

In some ways, I wish that I were her.  How great it would be to experience life in that way, carefree and with no expectations.  In thinking back to the period of time when we could literally count out her age in days on our fingers, I realize now that life indeed did feel that way.  Though things were tough back then, there was a sort of purity to that toughness.  We were such a fragile, yet united family of three.  Together, we were so lost, and yet so determined.  Everything felt so new and every moment so profound.  Our dependence on each other was so basic, yet so deep.  Now, as Zoe gains a year of experience in the world, we've gained a year of experience as parents.  Like her, we're still inexperienced, and yet much wiser than who we were.  We're still babies in the parenting world, but we're a lot more clear on what our parenting values and practices are now, and we're more willing to take risks and ignore conventional advice, much like an overconfident toddler would.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

She's Not a Baby Anymore

She's not a baby anymore, and yet she is.  She doesn't speak, she doesn't walk, she doesn't pee in the toilet or feed herself with a spoon.  But she claps her hands when we say "yay," she points to things demanding to know what they are, she tries to imitate our words, she intentionally does things that she knows she shouldn't do.  She knows her daily routine and has her own preferences and expectations...and an opinion when those are not met!  She wants to look at the pictures and hear the story rather than just taste the pages of a book.  She is aware of her limitations and isn't as foolhardy as she used to be, though sometimes she can be so stubborn!  She is eating lots of table foods and growing a lot less interested in breastfeeding.  The things that can always make her happy are baths with Daddy and large pieces of meat--Daddy saves her the best cuts.  She loves to cheerfully announce to us that she is awake and ready to play every morning, and at night, she falls asleep peacefully and takes long naps through even the loudest family gatherings.  Who is this girl?  Though we've had almost a whole year of getting to know her, we still have no idea who she is and who she is going to be.