It is the 29th of March, 2012.
Somehow it is both expected and hard to believe that one year ago, today, Elodie was born. Pink, screaming, child full of will and opinion.
In these life-changing moments, we begin to think, change...lay down the stepping stones that eventually lead to the growing paths we take in life. Ones that lead us to who we are, and will become.
I did not know that day, that my Spring morning would become the biggest stepping stone I would leap to. Still, it did, and after 12 hours of labor, with my baby on my chest, I realized that this might just be the most important thing I had ever done.
Born from a family of story-tellers, there was something different about this story. And for the few short months after she was born, I started to realize that telling our story here was not what felt right. Just minutes away from Elodie felt like stolen time, and so, I did the only thing I knew how to do so well when life changed paths - I jumped ship.
240 messages (I read every one), and months later, I found questions I did and did not have answers for. Little bits and pieces I would read before work, at night before bed....words that would leave me wondering what I was holding out for, anyway. Maybe, I thought, there would be this moment in time where it would be right to come back here and pick up where I left off. But as more time went on, the more I realized that my time here is over. Maybe this was just another piece of my story, but not one that needed to be completed to fulfill a message. Maybe I'm not right at all. Maybe, maybe, maybe I will never know anything at all.
Then I read, that sometimes when you jump ship, you learn to swim.
This has been a hard year. One full of challenges, sleepless nights (hello, my baby did not sleep through the night for the first time until she was 8 months old) tears and frustration. Empty checking accounts, baby bodily fluids in my hair, and times when we thought we just couldn't handle one more minute of screaming.
Instead of learning to swim, I have never sunk to the bottom and drowned so quickly in my entire life. When I thought I might just get my head above water for one second, the reality of our new life was enough to pull me back under again.
The depression, not recognizing myself, and Lord, that screaming, screaming child full of will and opinion.
Nobody said it was easy. Nobody had the heart to say it would be this hard.
And still.....still. I would do it over a thousand times for just one more moment in that first second I looked into her eyes, and just knew her. Screaming baby, sweet, precious child who means the entire world to me. She has taught me patience, unconditional love, and more about myself than I ever bargained for. Bad things, ugly things....things I pushed down so deep that I thought for sure nothing would be able to pull them up again. And here they are, on the surface, weighing me down like an anchor, but lifting my body weightless until it floats to the surface and over and over again I learn - that the opposite of learning to swim is learning to drown. And for her, I choose to swim.
For 12 months I have been present in every moment of Elodie's life. I put this blog aside because I wanted to learn what it was like to never worry what anyone else was thinking of us. In our pajamas in the middle of the day, sitting in a messy house. At the park, with our real smiles. Nobody there to capture it or see it...just little flashes to save for her, one day. For us, one day, when the little rolls of her legs begin to fade and her tiny feet grow to fit into little lady shoes. This is not a place for pictures of us in pretty clothes doing pretty things, eating pretty food. It was a place to share, open up, and hopefully give something to whoever was needing it.
I came here to say hello, goodbye again, thank you, and to let you know, friends, that today, the 29th of March, is the day my little baby girl finished one entire year of her life. What a sweet ride it has been. For every time I thought I would surely drown, there came a moment to once again fill my lungs with air and find the strength to swim again. That is a sweet, sweet kind of love. One that asks no questions, one that does not define boundaries. It just is.
Happy, happy, happiest birthday, to my little baby girl, and to me.