1 year ago, I looked like this. I was blooming, just like the beautiful Jacaranda trees that flower every October. Those Jacaranda’s are blooming again now and in 2 weeks my baby boy will celebrate his first birthday. In anticipation of this special event, I thought I would post a letter that I wrote to Blake when he was 6 months old. At that stage, I was coming to a point in my parenting journey where I felt at peace and comfortable with the decisions I was making, and as much as I was in love with my son, those first 6 months were very difficult and there were a lot of adjustments made. However, for his half-birthday, I wanted to focus on the positives, the blessings and just how grateful I was to have this wonderful little man in my life so I wrote to him…..
Dearest Darling Blake, 11/04/11
Happy half-birthday my baby boy! Thank you for filling the last 6 months of my life with your smiles, your warmth and your love. You are a delight.
You were born into water, peacefully, blissfully, 6 short months ago. I still think of that special day so often. It was truly glorious. You suprised us with your gender and with your personality! We were expecting a calm, contented baby for some strange reason! But you were only contented when you were snuggled into mamas breast and for that, I cannot blame you. You cried anytime when you were more than an arms reach away from me for the first 3 weeks of your life. It was only after this time that daddy was finally able to have some special cuddles with his little son.
You were a natural at breastfeeding and we have had very few real problems – apart from insecurty on my part – and I am thrilled to say that we have made it to our 6 months breastfeeding goal! I am very happy about that and proud of our achievement. It has certainly been a learning experience, on many levels, but overall I know it is the very best thing I can be doing for you and I will keep going for as long as we are both happy with the arrangement. You are breastfed on demand, when YOU demand, and that’s the way we roll. There is no schedule here, no clocks to watch, I just watch you.
I have ‘worn’ you many times over the last 6 months, and gosh, I love it. I love you being so close to me in your wrap or carrier. Sometimes, I think you are even closer to me in the carrier than when I hold you in my arms. I love how one minute you are taking in the world, calm, secure in the knowledge that I am right there, enjoying the movement of my body; and the next minute your eyes are closed, your perfect mouth has dropped open and you are asleep. Strangely, an instinct to wake you from your slumber overcomes me, so that I can see those eyes open and that perfect mouth smile at me perfectly, but I know that I won’t…. never wake a sleeping baby.
Sometimes – as any mama does – I look forward to your sleep times so there can be time for other things and it is always those days that you sleep very little to remind me that life is not about ‘other things’. When you wake, I come to you, and if it is dark and it is ‘sleep time’ I feed you or rock you or walk you or whatever it is that you need me to do, to soothe you back to sleep. I don’t do it because it is the opposite of not soothing you, or because some people wrote books about exactly what we do day and night. I do it because it feels right. I do it, because when I consider any of the alternatives I feel a tight knot in my belly and I just can’t imagine doing it another way. My instinct says to follow you, baby boy, and it says this time shall pass so quickly that I will miss it when it is gone.
But some days, it is too much. Some days, I feel like I can’t do it all anymore. Some days I feel as though all of my energy has been sapped from me and I am exhausted beyond comprehension. It is those days that your daddy truly supports me and I appreciate him for that, and I love him for it, and I know he helps me be a better mama. I know you just need me, baby boy, plain and simple. That is your role in this world and mine is to be needed, by you.
I feel more complete since you entered our family. It is amazing to me that you have only been here 6 months and yet it feels like I have known you for a lifetime. You seem so familiar and yet I learn new things about you every day. You are fascinating. There is nothing better in this world for me, than to watch you and your sister smile at each other and express your love. That is beauty that words cannot describe. For me, as your mother, in that moment there can be nothing better and I know that I am right, that this path of mothering, this journey of parenting is right. You take my breath away when you fill me with love every single day. Thank you for that my dearest, darling Blake. I love you and I always will.
Love, your mama