My sweet, sweet baby....
3 whole, big, full months ....that's how old you are now. It is so hard to believe. In some ways, it seems like just yesterday. In other ways, it seems like my heart has known your heart forever.
I don't know if you can sense it or not...but your dad and I are feeling pretty "cool" these days about this parenting thing. Things are perking along just fine. (Of course, I'm knocking on my wooden desk whilst typing this!) I mean, we can do adventurous things now. Things such as......well, things like decide on a whim that we'd like to go out to dinner rather than stay home! Where before we might have tossed around the idea of going out...but then looked at you, looked at the clock, looked at each other nervously, looked back at you, hesitated for a half hour or so before packing a diaper bag with enough supplies for a weeks stay in a primitive campground, checked the weather (one more time), scalded the pacifier (one more time), only to decide, once in the garage, that we weren't that hungry afterall.
Not anymore babycakes! These days...we can decide that we want to go out and we are all in the car and buckled up in a matter of minutes. Your feeding schedule? Who cares! We can feed you anywhere! Diapers? Check. Wipes? Check. Someone touches you without first dousing themselves in Purell? Our skin barely even crawls now. What's that old saying anyway? God made dirt and dirt won't hurt... Sure, we nonchalantly wipe off your contaminated little hands when the person who contaminated you isn't looking...but hey, this is a huge step up from the way we used to be. You're not the only one who has come along way, baby. We're smooth sailing. We cruise in and out of the pediatrician's office for shots like it's old hat. We can feed you, burp you, rock you to sleep in a fancy restaurant all while eating a filet without even disturbing other diners. Just the other night your dad changed you in our backseat in record time. I watched from inside the restaurant as the two of you momentarily played and laughed in the glow of the dome light . My heart swelled with pride. For you. For us.
We are doing life. WITH A BABY. We are surviving. No....we're thriving.
Before you were born, we would have long discussions about how in the world we would do it? Seriously! As I have mentioned before, we have been guilty on more than one occasion, of forgetting to FEED the dogs! We prayed a lot. We prayed for strength, wisdom, stamina, patience, guidance, help.... We prayed, more than anything, to be up for the challenge.
We wobbled along for those first couple weeks. We stumbled more than once. We kept on praying. And....somewhere along the way we found our stride. Perhaps we (make that I) stopped freaking out about what all the books said. Maybe your dad decided that getting poop on his hands during a diaper change would not kill him afterall. Maybe we stopped forcing a certain number of ounces down your throat and started looking for signs from you that you were full. I'm not sure exactly what it was...but things clicked for all of us.
It's sort of like this, baby girl.
One day you will learn to ride a two wheel bike. You will decide, albeit reluctantly, that you are ready to get rid of the training wheels once and for all. Daddy will run along with you as you pedal. He will hold the bike steady so that you won't fall. You will be pedaling your little heart out....the wind in your face. He will be there behind you, holding onto the seat, cheering you on. You will keep pedaling....hard as you can. Then, you will turn around to realize that daddy let go several driveways back and that you're doing it! You are riding all by yourself. You will hardly be able to believe it because you thought you'd never be able to do it on your own. But...you will keep on pedaling. You will feel so brave, so empowered. Your whole self will smile.
When this happens, you will know how we feel now. No one is holding our tandem bike steady.
It' s just us. And you. And we are pedaling with all our strength. And we are smiling with every fiber of our being.
We're doing it!
And the crazy thing is, this pedaling together, this parenting....
it feels like it's what we were born to do.
Thank God for you, dear one. Thank God.