My mom just told me that had anyone tried to take a picture of me 3 years ago, I would have shoved the camera somewhere unspeakable. I was so miserable being pregnant. I can’t find one single picture of me pregnant past October of 2009. She’s right, I was horribly uncomfortable; I was in pain and I was
a raging lunatic irritable.
Now as I write this, I am sitting in the dark next to my “baby” who is sound asleep, listening to Christmas music and in disbelief that my “baby” is turning 3 today. At this moment, I am the exact opposite of miserable, the exact opposite of irritable. I am happier than ever. I am luckier than ever. I am Happiness’ mommy. And I am addicted to taking pictures of her. I want to capture and remember every single moment of her life. As cliché as it sounds, her life has flown by so far. And, I want to hold on to every minute of her. She is a force. Everything she does is with force and intensity and conviction. Everything. She does everything with all parts of her being. She is not a half way kind of girl. She is an all or nothing girl.
When you become a parent, no one tells you that you will grieve the baby, toddler, preschooler that you once had. Bittersweet does not even begin to capture what it feels like to watch old videos and look at pictures and wonder, “what happened?”. Where did the time go? Unlike with Light, I can’t remember when she broke her first tooth. I can’t remember when she first sat up or walked unassisted. I can hardly remember the exact hour of her birth; Rob and I are debating that tonight. I don’t know when she learned to dress herself. I don’t remember when she said her first word. I guess when you have your second child, distractions take over and you forget to write things down. But, I have pictures. I have tons of pictures.
And, I remember the exact moment when she stole my heart. She had it from the very instant I laid eyes on her. She grabbed hold with that force. Right then. Stronger than I could have imagined. And she holds onto it and she tells me how much she loves me and she tells me “I’m your girl forever.” All or nothing. And she tells me “I love you too much for you to be away from me.” All or nothing. And she tells me “I won’t EVER ever EVER be your friend again if you make me mad.” All or nothing. And she hugs me and says “Do you recognize how much I love you?” All or nothing.
This girl is a force.
Happy Birthday, Happiness. You are my girl forever.