I'm writing tonight because I'm afraid I will get overwhelmed with second birthday party prep tomorrow and run out of time to sit, and think, and write, about what it means to sit on the verge of celebrating 24 months with our baby girl. Birthdays really have a way of making me nostalgic...and sappy...and yes, maybe a little emotional. And tonight, I keep finding myself thinking about how much different things are than I imagined they would be two years ago tonight, as I anxiously and completely impatiently waited for Annie's arrival into our lives. But also about how very much they are exactly how I imagined they would be.
I've written on here before about how much I wanted to be a mother, how long it took for David and I to achieve success in our mission to grow our family. And I've also written about how unprepared I was for what being a parent is really like, how much I have struggled at times with the balancing act and the mommy guilt and the loss of identity that motherhood can bring. Two years ago tonight, I understood that things were going to change once Annie arrived...but I had no idea how much I would change. I find myself looking at life now in a completely different way than I did prior to June 29, 2011. I see challenge and risk where I would have overlooked it before. It takes much less to scare me. I take far fewer things for granted. But I also see joy where I didn't see it before. And I find myself reflecting an awful lot these days on how the most simple moments with my little girl and my husband can be the most beautiful. I cry much more easily (and that's saying something!), but I also laugh a lot more often too. I just feel things bigger. And I think that's, in part, because having a child's spirit as a constant presence in my life makes me see some things the way she does. And sometimes see them as if for the first time.
I'm sure it surprises no one to hear me say that I can't believe two years have already passed. If there has been a theme thus far on this blog, it is that I am continuously amazed by how quickly time is flying now that Annie has joined our family. But never has it been quite so evident to me as tonight, two days before our girl's birthday. Never have I felt so blessed to have been chosen to be her mother. Never have I felt more strongly the desire to cherish every minute - even the hard, frustrating, and trying ones. Because I just know in the blink of an eye, these moments of quickly changing toddler emotions will be memories that I long to relive. Just as I sat tonight, rocking my baby, whose body now fits much less easily into my arms, recalling with a smile the many nights I did that when she was tiny in the wee hours...in a year or two or three, I will remember my on-the-verge-of-two-year-old Annie and have to wipe away a nostalgic tear.
These last two years she has taught me much. And she will teach me much more. I am blessed to be her momma. And I look so forward to another year being just that.