It’s true: two is a funny place to be.
There is a sense of wonder, a sense of incredulousness, a sense of “how did I get here? How did he get here?”
As you can guess, my baby is turning two. It snuck up on me, like birthdays and milestones tend to do. But here I am, planning a birthday party, thinking about cake ideas and loot bags for tiny toddlers.
Reminiscing and remembering the last two years.
Because really, they sneak up on you. The last two years have been a blur. If I’m honest, I’d say that I barely remember much of it – the world has happened around me, as I sat in my little bubble of rainbows and unicorns, of spilled juice and dirty laundry. I’ve been in a bubble these last two years, even longer perhaps. It starts in pregnancy — the much-lauded and completely real “pregnancy brain”. Everything is forgotten about, simple tasks are missed and skipped, planned dates with friends are bypassed. Everything that once seemed simple is more difficult, and nothing can be remembered. Nothing except what is precisely in front of you at any given time. Pregnancy brain, which quickly extends into mommy-brain.
Because suddenly, so suddenly, the tiny little person arrives. Suddenly, and yet it seems as if you’ve been waiting your entire life to meet this tiny little person. But it only takes a moment, and then here they are. Tiny person who is all-consuming and all-encompassing. There are the simple basic tasks of diaper changes and breast milk feedings, of sweet baby snuggles and milky kisses that must be given and received. There is worry about how much weight baby is gaining — is it enough? Is it too much? How many wet diapers are enough? Is he warm enough? Is he too warm? Books and articles and blog posts and community boards are read voraciously in between milk feedings and baby-mommy naptimes, searching for the answers on how to do all the things. All the questions are asked. Even: has he received enough cuddles today? (There can never be enough cuddles is always the answer.)
It is, truly, all-consuming.
And so here I have been, in a bubble. A bubble of mommy-hood. Its simply what happens, to so many of us. With the pregnancy-brain and the mommy-brain, and then the absolute infatuation of our own little tiny person, we forget the world. Oftentimes, the world forgets us. It assumes easily that we might not need help, that we’re in a happy place. The world goes on around our mommy-bubble. Some of us leave our bubble sooner than others, going back to work all too soon sometimes, or simply out of desperation to reach out to someone, to anyone at all.
Leaving the mommy-bubble can be gratifying and saving, a touchstone to the world to be able to remember who we were before we became a mom, a way of getting our pre-mom self back just a little bit. In my mommy-bubble, I have been in a continuous state of getting to know this tiny person, and also of getting to know this new person that I am. Tiny person’s mom. Not just me, not just Leisha, not just someone who is a writer, an activist, a crafter, a non-profit worker, an organizer, a baker, a friend, a lover… suddenly, a mother also. Leisha the mom. I am still getting to know this person. Still trying to figure out this new role, which is still so new. Still trying to remember who I was before tiny person arrived, and still trying to figure out how to combine all of these different roles together. Mother, lover, friend, writer, organizer, social activist…
Most of these hats have fallen by the wayside as I learn how to be tiny person’s mom. And he is, truly, teaching me both how to be his mom, but also how to be me. The me that I am meant to be right now. He is the one who is helping me, who is teaching me about all these different roles and hats that I wear. Through our playtime, through our creativity, through our snuggles, through our messes and even through the occasional tears that I might cry during a day of absolute frustration — he is teaching me through all of it. I am getting to know him still, getting to know this amazing person that he is, that he is becoming; as I am getting to know who I am also.
Together, we are learning.
And so here I am, two years later.
And he is, truly, teaching me both how to be his mom, but also how to be me.
The world is still spinning around me, while I stay stationary in my bubble. It’s my happy place, my wondrous space that I’m in no rush to leave. And it’s amazing. Its an amazing place to be. Amidst the all-too-frequent chaos of suppers prepared at 9 p.m. while putting little one to bed much (much too late), of sweeping floors endlessly after stepping in smushed noodles or a jam puddle, of putting away clean laundry that has been placed back in with the dirty laundry, of fishing toys out of the toilet for the third time this week…amidst it all, it’s still amazing.
Because at two years old, I am suddenly living with a tiny little person. Not just a baby anymore. But rather, a tiny, miniature person who is talking, who thinks for himself, who is asserting himself and his ideas and his opinions, and who is exploring the world with such excitement. He is a tiny person.
And that’s absolutely amazing.
However I got here, whatever has happened over these last two years to bring me here, I am grateful. I am excited. I continue to be moved and overwhelmed on a daily basis. And I am thankful, so thankful, to this tiny person, for showing me the world through his eyes, for sharing his self with me, for choosing me to be his mom.
Happy birthday tiny one.
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