Becoming a Parent
Sunday was my first Mother's Day. I am not usually sentimental about these things, but Ez went out of his way to make it extra special for me by letting me sleep in until the last minute (best gift I could've wanted on that particular day). I woke up to the sweet fragrance of flowers on my dressing table and he cooked an epic brunch, complete with mimosas. I'm now officially a big fan of Mother's Day.
A couple weeks ago, we had a conversation about parenting and how we were feeling about it. We both agreed that we still didn't feel much like "parents." I'm sure if you look at my Facebook page or read this blog, you probably think I fit the definition of a "mommy" to the letter. But, even though we have this little person living with us that we love to bits, and she's thoroughly interrupted our social lives and circadian rhythms, the reality of being parents hadn't really sunk in. It's kind of hard to explain. In fact, I had an unfinished draft of a blog post already in progress about this very topic because I couldn't quite find the words.
I just deleted it.
Things are starting to change. At 8 and 1/2 months old, Johnnie is letting us know she's not a "baby" anymore. Babies have needs and feelings, but children... children have needs, feelings and opinions. When you parent a baby, you're mostly just looking out for their basic needs for survival -- food, warmth, sleep, reassurance, etc. It's hard, but it's mostly elemental. It's not so much parenting as it is tending to, like a pet that you love a whole lot. At a certain point though, that baby starts developing a mind of her own. She'll decide she doesn't particularly want her diaper changed right now because she's too busy pushing all the buttons on the remote control... or that she'd much rather be running around the living room holding onto your fingers for balance than sitting and reading... or that she's not quite ready to go to bed just yet. I was an easygoing, obedient child, never one to make a wave; Johnnie, though cautious, is very determined. She knows what she wants. Day by day I see the fire in her belly growing hotter. She's becoming spirited, both in her glee and in her anger, and I can feel the mother--the real parent--in me growing stronger, readying to help guide this powerful little force into something good, not evil.
So I guess what I'm saying is, as Johnnie's personality and preferences grow, so does the mother in me. I think we're in for a fun and wild ride, mother and daughter.
But I still refuse to drive a minivan.