Sunday, February 13

a year later

Eamon was born a year ago today.
At just about this time last year, I was settling in and trying to get some sleep, the first in about 36 hours. Though the maternity floor was quiet and I was exhausted, it was not easy to fall asleep. There next to me, in a clear plastic bassinet, lay a little baby with dark eyes. I couldn't stop looking at him, and I felt like he was watching me. He didn't seem tired, just curious about where he was and what was going on.

Meeting your child is such an abstract and huge and wondrous thing; it is hard to describe. I also imagine it is completely different for each parent, and for each parent's child.

I had long wondered what my child would be like: his coloring, his features, his personality. I think one of the first things I thought after his birth was, "Holy s**t! I am going to know this person for the rest of my life!" (Or that is the hope anyway.) And combined with all of that was, "I am going to raise this little thing. I am going to nurture him. I am going to know him very, very well. And love him. But I don't even know who he is!"

And so that first night I couldn't stop watching him, his little face in the darkness, as he watched me. Eventually I (guiltily) sent him to the nursery for a few hours just so I could relax and get some rest.

A year later I know him better, but each day brings something new. I am amazed at how much he has changed in a year. From a wiggly little being he has become a small boy. He makes sounds, some of which could be words ("da," "dag," "dat," "duk."), and he understands some of what we say. He can crawl quickly, and pulls himself to stand. His personality has begun to emerge, and I see an observant and friendly (though slightly shy) child with a sense of humor and an interest in everything around him.Eamon's birthdayMy life today barely resembles the life I had on February 12, 2010, and it took awhile to reconcile that, to rearrange my expectations. Having a baby immediately immerses you in everything Baby - feeding it, changing diapers, getting it to sleep, trying to sneak some naps for oneself, wondering when you will cook again, let alone take a shower or go back to work. I ended up being laid off shortly after Eamon was born, and so the past year has meant being more of a full-time mom than I expected to be. I was assured that I would get my life (and body) back after about a year, and that was true; slowly things have shifted to a place where I feel more in control. Once again I am designing for theater and I feel energized by my knitting and crafts. Eamon's naps are such that I can do some work during them now, and we are both more comfortable spending time apart.

Where does this bring me? It has been a transformative year, a year full of learning and letting go of expectations. And as we move into a second year with a child, I hope to move forward, both with embracing parenthood and balancing a career. (Or balancing parenthood and embracing a career?)