I never blogged Gracie’s birthday!
I have to admit that when I was pregnant with Grace I did have Martha Stewart visions of perfection dancing in my head. Clean white linens, peaceful naps together and an immediate bond for life. Well, overwhelmed at what had just happened, six years ago I was in a hospital, teary and tired, and wondering just how I was going to cope with this little bundle. How could I possibly be responsible for this life. Already I had been told by some not so nice nurses that my decision not to nurse was equivalent to giving my first born Macdonalds fast food. Ouch. Not a good start. When we brought Grace home, the endless gifts of flowers kept arriving, and all I could think was I couldn’t even get my shit together enough to change the water of the flowers, how the hell was I going to look after a baby? The postpartum blues kicked in. Those cold dreary months of February found me feeling quite cooped up and alone, anxious for myself and my baby. Then one day, and I remember this so clearly, finally needing to get out of the house, I nervously strapped Grace into her stroller, looked down at her inquisitive little eyes, and told her that we were going for a walk. I remember that walk so well. I remember singing a little song to her that I had made up when she was born. Grace looked at me and cracked one of her first, beautiful, gummy smiles. That is when I realized it was going to be okay, that I could do this job. It wasn’t going to be easy, but, this ex-wild child did have a maternal bone in her body. In fact, I tried to let the instincts flow from that day forward. Rather than throwing my arms up in despair when she cried, I made it my mission to determine what those cries meant. Rather than staring at her when she was sleeping, anxious for what I was going to do with her when she woke up, I tried to revel in the peaceful, sleeping Grace, and look forward to her waking to watch her take in the world.
I have to admit, Grace has never been the easiest kid in the world. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have moments of envy when I see other more compliant kids with their parents. However, I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t think our daughter rocks. Grace takes on the world like nobody’s business. The first in the pool and the last one out. The first one up the ski hill and the first one down. I have never seen a kid take such joy in the simple act of running, seemingly amazed at just how fast her powerful legs can take her. I also love who this kid surrounds herself with. Wait, let me re-word that. I love who surrounds Grace. Grace has been embraced by so many different groups of kids, and she seems to happily float from one group to the next, not relying on any one or two kids for her social life. These past two weeks, we are also witnessing the miracle of her reading her first words…watching her sound out the words, and the look of joy on her face when she conquers a particularly difficult word is truly a gift for me.
I had been complaining about lack of sleep lately, Grace has been troubled with nightmares. I recently took Chantal’s suggestion and put a little mattress on the floor where she can come and crash if she needs to be near us. And you know what? Taking a chapter from my post partum days, I also now revel in the peaceful Grace sleeping, and sincerely look forward to her waking up and taking on the world again and again.
That little song? I still sing it to her, I know she will soon think it is silly and stupid, but I don’t care, I’ll keep singing it .
“Her name is Grace, Grace,
With the beautiful face, face,
What a beautiful nose,
gorgeous eyes!And what lovely smile,
That’s my Grace...”