Thursday, October 18, 2012

Day 376: Rafa Turned One

When you're young, time moves so slow. If last month seems like so long ago, then a year ago feels like an eternity. The future doesn't seem any faster. Remember starting school in September and feeling like Christmas break and Santa would never arrive? Or that the last day of school might as well have been lightyears away? 

But as we get older, days move like the seconds on a clock - tick tock tick tock - weeks are here and past before you even realized it was Monday, and years change faster than Usain Bolt's olympic performance.

A year ago, I was a new mom. Just those words seem strange to me. New mom. I was learning how to change, bathe, feed, and completely love this new little person that had just arrived to this Earth. That was a whole year ago that our lives would change forever. FOR-EVER. 

Husband and I had to unlearn single lives and learn how to be patient beyond belief, loving beyond ourselves, and selfless beyond measure (I'm still working on this one.).

And while we believed that we were the ones learning, Rafaella was really the one learning it all.

She was learning to see new things in a whole new light, literally. She was learning to breathe air and wiggly worm and eat  on her own. She was learning to ask for things with sounds and how to be independent. She was learning to take baths and be held by strangers and have papi dunk her head with water during her baths because "she has to get used to it." (As if having water dumped on your head is a necessary life skill, Husband.)

 As time moved on, Daddy and I would continue to learn to be parents, but let's be real, the amount of learning that it takes to be parents is nothing in comparison to what it takes to learn to be a person. It's only until you're parents that you realize why people are so in awe of babies... and I don't just mean our own. Rafa is spectacular and brilliant but all babies are pretty spectacular. They come out knowing NOTHING. Well, so we think. They know somethings: they know in the first few moments of life how to take milk from a breast or a bottle - whichever will do. They know to tell us when they are hungry and when they are full. They know how to survive, I mean, come on.... that's pretty spectacular!

But then there are the moments of "Right! Of course they don't know how to do that!" And so the awe of raising a child really begins, I think.

When Rafa had to learn to eat from a spoon, it had dawned on me that until then she never ate from a spoon so how would she know how to do that. It dawned on me that until my mother taught me how to eat from a spoon, I never knew how to do that either. And then it dawned on me that all the same I learned and Rafa would learn and the world would keep spinning with babies learning how to eat from a spoon. Cause that's what babies do best - learn.

Rafa learned to feed herself little puffs by taking them in her itty bitty hand and putting that itty bitty hand to her itty bitty mouth. She would learn to lift herself up by using the couch - or Olive, poor Olive - to support her. She used her little feet to get from one place to another and then learned to trust those little feet and her not always reliable balance to walk. She would learn to smile and laugh. She would learn what a laugh meant. She would learn to move in a different way to music - to dance - or to clap for herself when she did something awesome. She learned to climb down from a couch by anchoring her feet first instead of her head. Thank god she learned that one!

These things don't seem like a lot when you are an adult and you have been walking or eating or getting up from the couch for years, years that move like Usain Bolt, so we take for granted that we know how to do them. But we didn't always know these things. 

At some point, we were Rafaella and we were learning, in our first year, how to do it all.

How fast this year has gone. A year ago, I was a new mom. And this idea of time had already crept into my conscious:

Sometimes it's hard to believe that she's ours. A month old baby is growing and becoming a person before our eyes, with our help. And just as it always does, TIME will keep marching into the next month, the next year. Before we know it, this month will be a memory. A time to look back on and remember how much really happened, how much really changed in just one month. (Nov. 7, 2011)

I knew then that time wouldn't slow down and that I would have to run like Mr. Bolt to keep up with it. And I was right because now I'm not a new mom but just a mom. I'm a bit more confident, a lot more tired, and a normal amount of sad that my Rafa's first year is gone. When did she get so big? When did she go from a 7 pound 2 ounces newborn to a 21 pound 13 ounces toddler? When did she go from five bottles a day to asiago cheese, croissants, and egg omelets? When did she go from a full smile of gums to three teeth with three more on the way?

In a year. In 52 quick moving weeks. In 376 days. Day-by second ticking tocking-day.

That's when...

And just wait. This year's only started...

* * * * *

Luckily, I have picture montages and amazing music by Cloud Cult to remind me of just how much happens in a year's time. And to make me cry like a sentimental, emotional, crazy mom person.

Cause You Were Born: Rafa Turns One from Jennifer Legra on Vimeo.

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