This coming week (November 28th to be exact) will mark my daughter’s first birthday. It is amazing to look back over the year and realize that it has flown by at impossible to comprehend speeds. Older parents with children who’ve moved away will often say cliche things like “enjoy your time now while you can” and for most people they take that as “when your kid gets to be a teenager they’ll be a smart ass and you’ll want to kill them” but I’m starting to appreciate that that is not at all what experienced parents mean.
Once this year is gone it will never come back, all the first and wonderful experiences will be memories to be cherished but never to be relived. I will never again get to experience Paige standing for the first time or the first day that she crawled to the gate at the top of the stairs when I came home from work and started calling out “da da da da da”. I have so many precious memories but I feel as if I’ve missed so much because of the hecticness of life that I’ll never be able to get back as well.
This year has been filled with so many fantastic moments that sometimes while they were happening the depth and impact of them were impossible to comprehend.
This pace started immediately in the hospital. One of my favorite pre-birth memories was calling my boss Dave and leaving him a voice mail message that “it” was going down. I wish he still had that voice mail because it captured how nervous, excited and truly terrified I was as the realization hit while I was on the phone THAT THIS THING IS HAPPENING.
Paige’s actual birth was also kind of symbolic of this break neck speed of life as well – Tammy’s labour was quick taking only a few hours and the actual pushing phase only took seven and a half pushes. That half push is a funny story. The doctor wasn’t even fully set up when Tammy gave what should have been the eigth push, Paige literally fell out of the womb with the doctor, the nurse and myself all diving in to catch her – it was quite a sight.
All of a sudden the world was a different place. Somehow there was a piece of me reproduced and existing as a part of this world. This beautiful little child (weighing in at only 5lbs by the time she had lost her initial birth weight) was mine. My responsibility, my ward, and my true legacy in this world.
Since that day I’ve watched with fascination as every day she has become more and more her own person with her own distinct traits. We’ve had so many incredible times one of my greatest fears is that I’ll forget some detail as I age. This whole journey has been so amazing I wouldn’t give up a single memory for anything.
My highlights from this year:
- the first night when she fell asleep in my arms
- the first time she pee’d on me (rite of pass non?)
- the first time she said da da
- the first time Tammy called me at work because the baby was overly cranky and the sound of my voice and talking to her on speaker phone calmed her down
- just in the last two weeks when she started hug and cuddling
- the first time we took a nap together. Every weekend Paige and I try and get one nap in together. I never sleep a wink because I can’t stop the urge to do everything I can to protect her when she’s so vulnerable in her sleep
- the first time she bit my nose and I realized that was her way of giving kisses (it still is – very odd)
Now as Paige approaches a year old she’s starting to become more independent, more cheerful and more loving with each passing day. She is almost always happy and those around her cannot help be drawn in by her loving smile. I cannot begin to say how proud I am of what she is becoming and I hope Paige you’ll read this one day and be reminded of how I treasure every smile, every babbled word and every minute of every day I’ve been able to spend with you.
I love you Paige – Thank you for this year and all that you have given me and your mother.