Something has occurred to me in the midst of all my Emerson-is-turning-one-and-I-can't-stop-reminiscing-and-crying-and-smiling-and-god-I'm-an-emotional-mess state, as of late. And that something has me in awe. Here it is: I have spent every single day with Emerson since the day she was born (or conceived, really). An entire year with one person. That's crazy. Just think about it—regardless of how much or how little time we spend with any one other human being, we still move about this earth, and our days, as one person. Alone.
Yet, right now, that is not the case for Emerson. She has never known a day, let alone an hour, that didn't involve mama given I have yet to leave her in the care of someone else. Yes, I have handed her off to Alex for an hour or two many, many times. But, they are still in the same house and inevitably I pop into the room to say hi or Emerson comes to find me. Other than that, the biggest outing I've ventured out on sans baby was a 25-minute run to the post office. What's more, I go to sleep with Emerson every night, and always have. So, she hasn't even been alone to sleep. I know all those facts may stun some people, but it's what feels natural and works for our family. And is won't always be this way.
Still, I am amazed and actually quite impressed that I have managed to spend that much time with anyone. I certainly didn't spend time like that with my own mother as a babe. And I certainly haven't spent that much time with anyone. Ever. I have always been an introvert, preferring to spend oodles of time alone. No. Needing to spend oodles of time alone. I always opted to live alone rather than with roommates in my younger years. And though previous to having a child, Alex and I were seemingly glued to one another…..there was still so much distance, so much time as an individual, when compared to the past 360 days with E.
It's been trying on my patience and mood and alertness at times. For sure. But, the past 360 days have been the most beautiful thing I've ever been a part of (aside from my union with Alex). The thing is, in all the years, and decades, I spent dreaming about having children, I never thought this is what motherhood would look like for me. I always thought I'd be working some high-powered job while my child was in daycare so I really had no a clue that when the time came, I would feel overwhelmingly certain that I'd wanted to be home with my child for 365 consecutive days without a break. I never realized I would want my baby to sleep next to me as opposed to in her own room. I wouldn't have dreamed that my idea of "alone time" would transform from days without speaking to another human being to a simple 20-minute shower in peace. I didn't know I was even capable of living the life that I am right now. But, all of this has felt like the most natural thing in the world to me. And I wouldn't trade any one of the last 360 days for anything.
I have been surprised by my experience of parenthood, but every surprise is met with a knowing feeling that this is the way it was always meant to be for me. I just didn't know it yet.
What will the next 365 bring?