I have been drawn to babies for as long as I can remember. I can’t be around a baby without making a funny face and trying to get them to laugh or capture their attention. When I was seven years old, my uncle and his wife had their first child, a little girl. They called her Bambi. I adored her and took her under my wing as my new best friend and favorite play companion. We’ve remained close throughout her life – and she’s in her 30s now! In my teens I thought I would get married and become a mother in my 20s because that’s what people did back then. As I chased one dream after the next in my 20s and 30s and valued travel and experiences over settling down, I pushed that thought down the line.
I inherently knew that the more experiences I captured and fulfilled, the less restless and happier I would be as a mother and partner. I knew that having a child would be the end of one life and the start of another. Boy was I right.
My pregnancy was relatively easy as pregnancies go. I didn’t have any morning sickness or cravings, but Paul likes to tell me that I was “emotional”. I’m not one of those women that loved being pregnant. I’d be happy to have a stork drop a baby on my doorstep that bares some resemblance to me.
The best thing about the pregnancy is it helped me understand what women all over the world endure and experience through pregnancy and childbirth. It gave me greater appreciation and empathy for womankind, and a sense of achievement for birthing this incredible child that we made. While the delivery was surely painful, I was in labor for only ten hours, including two very hard hours of pushing. It wasn’t as god awfully bad as I thought it would be, so I was able to do it naturally without any meds.
Being a mom is both harder and more rewarding than I imagined. As I watch Finn grow and as I savor each developmental stage, the coolest in the world was when Finn started taking his first steps at 10 months old. All of the sudden he went from being a rather helpless baby to a human with free will. Finn taking his first steps towards me made me so deliriously happy. My baby is choosing to walk towards me, into my open arms! I’m not sure it gets much better than that.
The next mind-blowing experience I had as a mother is when I realized that Finn, at the age of 13.5 months, had empathy. Oh my goodness, did I melt when he acted on it. One day while I was working from home, I entered the living room to say hi to Finn, thinking he would be excited to see me. He wasn’t. He looked up at me like I was nobody. It actually really hurt my feelings, and I turned around to go into my room. Not 20 seconds later, Finn came running in to give me a hug. I was so confused. Did he know that he had upset me and was he coming to cheer me up? I looked up at his nanny, and she said to me “He understands everything.” That is the pinnacle of the boy and man I want him to be. Someone who is aware of his actions and others, is empathetic and expresses affection.
Now that Finn is 17 months old, the new cool thing that he is doing is giving kisses. That, and running back and forth between me and his papa as we sit on the floor on opposite ends of a room while he throws his arms around us both. Since he turned one, he becomes a hugging machine before bed. What better gift is there than that? It tires him out and we all have a good laugh.
The good stuff keeps getting better. This is the biggest job I’ve ever taken on and I get it now. It is totally worth it. Now I understand why my parents have generally been so loving, devoted and protective of me for all of my life. Even when I was miserable, stubborn and insolent.
Let the games begin! I am so thrilled to be experiencing all of these incredibly heart-warming firsts with our little Finn. I am also very thankful to have a partner who is an awesome papa to Finn – he has strong parenting instincts, is loving and caring, and he delights Finn (and me) with laughter and feats of physical fun that is unmatched. We have so much fun together as a family and I can only imagine it getting better with time.