One year ago, I was sitting on the couch between my mom and Ben timing contractions. They had picked up strongly around 7:30pm, after 2 days of stalled labor, and we knew that soon we would be meeting our little girl for the first time. Something we had been praying and longing for.
Please excuse me while I go get a tissue.
I don't remember having as hard of a time when my boys turned one. Probably because I was so busy! I was newly pregnant and sick when Samuel turned one and busy with two young boys when Z turned one. I planned big parties for them, wanting to celebrate with our beloved family and friends around us.
But this time? This time I don't want to celebrate with a big party. As a matter of fact, I don't feel like celebrating much at all. I am sad. Really, really sad.
I feel guilty for feeling that way. It's not like I don't want my precious little girl to grow up and to be amazed at the beautiful little person God created. I just don't want it to happen so quickly.
And I probably am feeling the emotions so intensely because she is our last (as far as we know anyways;). The last pregnancy, the last miracle of birth we got to experience, the last little one learning how to smile, roll-over, crawl, clap, wave and on and on. The last.
And already she is changing. It's like somebody told her that she was about to turn one (it wasn't me!) and she decided, "Okay. This is it. Now I get more independent and start throwing fits and wanting to be put down instead of carried. I am one."
I just want to hold on a little tighter but I know I can't. No matter what I do, no matter how tightly I hug or how many pictures I take, no matter how hard I try, I cannot hold on to any of them. They weren't created for me to keep forever. Just to love, to teach, to nurture and to prepare. For when they go out on their own.
So tonight, as I rewind all of the precious memories of the past year in my mind, as I sift through the amazing emotions and day to day miracles of watching this sweet little person of mine grow and become, I will mourn the end of it.
And then I'll let go. I'll pack up this unforgettable year and tuck it away in the shelves of my mind to pull out and lovingly remember and then I'll celebrate.
Because she deserves it.