Our baby turned 1 on February 14 and I still feel emotional about it all.
I never imagined I’d be the kind of mom to feel so emotional about the big milestones. I just assumed I’d be excited and happy and proud. Which I am all of those things too, but there is a part of me that feels sad. Sad that I can’t remember all of my favorite moments over the last year. I honestly don’t remember the time Rose took her first steps. However, the more I start feeling down about this, I realize I’m missing out on the here and now. Memories are great! I am in the business of capturing them, after all. But they don’t hold more value then the current moment you’re in. If I focus too much on what I might be forgetting, I miss out on the opportunity of making new memories. Today. Right now.
And the truth is I didn’t forget everything. I remember the first time she laughed. I remember her first word “bye, bye” followed by the one that actually stuck “rough, rough”. Her word for dog…and now any animal. I may not remember her first steps precisely, but I remember she took them at 9 months and officially walked at 10 months. She’s now 12 months and knows how to walk backward and sideways. And I just made a new memory, Rose could hold up one finger on her 1st birthday when prompted by the question, “How old are you, Rose?”
But those are just milestones really. Fun to witness and remember. But I want to remember her smell, that sweet, sweet Rosie smell before receiving her first bath. That moment Vitaliy told me we had a daughter. A daughter! To feel her skin against mine. The process of growing into my new skin as a mom. The memory of falling more and more in love with her with each day that passed. To feel her squishy legs that grew and strengthened from the milk coming out of my body. The tired, sleepless nights I swore might kill me, followed by the sunrise and new grace to face another day. I never want to forget the struggle. Oh, the struggle! The laboring and the pain, both in child bearing and child rearing. It’s through that pain and suffering where life comes from, both hers and my own. She changes and I change with her. She grows as I grow. Nothing staying the same. But those are the things you can’t capture with a camera. They’re stored in the heart.
Rose amazes me every day. Every parent thinks their child is the most adorable genius ever to be born. And I fall write into that parenting category. She has my intensity, passion and strong vocal chords. And she has Vitaliy’s patience, curiosity and mischievous spirit. She somehow looks just like V or myself, depending on who she’s next to at the moment of comparison. And her strongest personality trait: independent. She believes she has the strength and capability to do anything she sets out to do.
I find myself in constant prayer asking God for wisdom to lead and nurture this little blessing of ours. My hope is to be the kind of mom that holds Rose in an open palm to God, trusting her completely to Him. He is her ultimate Father and Creator. He knows best and He’s the one with the plan. But I realize it is so much easier said than done. Which is why I pray.
Well, one year in the books! We celebrated with family and a few close friends. It was small and simple, just as I had hoped. And special. I can’t wait to see what’s next!
P.S. If you’re planning your little one’s first birthday, here are a few details on what you see here. For decorations, we cut out circles from different shades of pink paper, then strung them with ribbon for garland and taped them around window frames and on the wall as a backdrop for a photo booth. Pink and polka dots were our theme for the party. My dear friend Lily made Rose’s cake and obviously chose “Rose” as the theme for her cake with different shades of pink to match the decorations. Both those are just the details, the heart behind the party is that we wanted it to be small and intimate. We have so many wonderful people in our lives who we could have invited, and in all honesty, wanted to invite. But we believe in “less is more” and kept this at the forefront of our minds when it came to planning. So, we chose to surround Rose on her first birthday with the people she knew best, the individuals who surrounded our family this year and helped us get through the difficult days and celebrated with us on the good days. And it all turned out just as we had hoped. Simple and fun and pink!