Friday, February 04, 2005

The Big Birthday

It is late, and I am tired. We had a wonderful day, full of friends and family and a living room full of babies. Peanut handled everything with aplomb, despite being slightly cranky from teething. I'm just very glad I only have to do this once a year.

I am too tired to write much about her tonight, but there is something I want to say. Before I had Peanut, I thought I understood what it meant to love your child. I loved my friends' children, right? The rush of love I felt the first time I met my goddaughter was amazing and sudden, and I knew then I for sure wanted a child. I loved my husband more than I could put into words. But it was scary, because of all the ways your life changes. How could it be worth it? Maybe most people weren't as wedded to their lives pre-baby as I was, and that's why they said it was worth it.

I didn't understand. I couldn't have. There is no feeling I have every felt that is like the love I feel for my child. Not even close. You think you love your spouse, you think you love your pet like a child. And you do. But you would have to magnify that love a hundred times over to begin to get in the neighborhood. It is something primal, something that is beyond explanation. It doesn't seem like you lost your life so much as you gained a new one. It is hard to imagine how it is okay to change your entire existence when you can't truly understand the emotion that is supposed to be the reward for that change. Maybe other people don't feel like this. Obviously some people don't. But I think that most parents can identify with what I'm saying. It isn't that we don't miss lazy Sundays with coffee and the Times, we do. We just find what we get in exchange more rewarding, and it is something that we never experienced before we became parents.

Darling girl, you are the light of my life. I can't imagine my life without you anymore than I can imagine it without the sun coming up every day. You are all that is right and beautiful in this world, and I am the luckiest woman in the world to be your mother.

3 comments:

Jen said...

Sometimes, I lay there at night and try to explain to my husband or even myself, just how much I love my daughter. The closest I have ever come is telling my hubby that my daughter can take my breathe away with just a simple smile or a single word. My love for her is so strong, it aches, it literally aches.

Carrie's Mom (and damn proud of it) said...

Reread that last paragraph, darling girl...

Dana said...

Carrie's mother's post had me crying. I am very happy that Catie girl had a good birthday. I thought about her the whole day and what a time it was for all of us especially you and T. She is a special little girl and I am blessed to have the opportunity to get to know her.