Shortly after Nora was born, I came across this quote, and I could hardly bear to read it.
Hormones, you see. Hormones, combined with the incredibly raw feeling of the greatest love I have ever felt in my entire life.
Those first few weeks (months?) were so incredibly hard. Not because I was trying to adjust to life with a new baby (even though I was), but because I had to get used to living with my heart outside of my body. I had to get used to the constant fear that I could ever lose this little being. It physically hurt. Just because I loved her that much.
Now, I am two years into this parenting thing, and don’t get me wrong—those feelings haven’t gone away—but I somehow learned to function again, despite the love and the fear being there every second of every day. I guess your heart adapts to a new way of life, and mine did.
But there are moments—pretty much every day— that come out of nowhere, when I am taken right back to the incredibly intense emotions of those first few weeks, when Nora and I were just getting to know each other on the outside.
Yesterday, as we trick-or-treated in my office, and then again in our neighborhood, I found myself having those moments. First of all, Nora was dressed like the cutest little bumblebee ever. On top of that, she was beside herself excited, and she actually got the whole trick-or-treating thing. She couldn’t (or wouldn’t) say “Trick or Treat,” but she was all about taking a piece of candy and adding it to her bucket. But even before that, when I first carried her into my office in the afternoon, I expected my crabby-with-no-nap girl to cling to me. To never say a word in front of anyone, since she’s so shy.
Instead, I saw a blossoming toddler run around freely, calling the names of two of her friends—”Nah-wee!” (Natalee!) “Ah-wa!” (Lara!). I watched her run from cubicle to cubicle to select a piece of candy, excitedly identifying the pieces by color. “Eh-yo! Booo! Ett.” (Yellow. Blue. Red.) And she said “Thank you” (sounds more like “eh-you”) to almost everyone. Smiled at them. And basically charmed the socks off of ‘em.
I almost didn’t even recognize this girl. I was so proud.
Most days, Nora only allows Michael, Mary, and me to see who she really is. I’ve said to our families before, “I wish you could see how she is when we’re home, just us” because she always acts different—more reserved—with anyone but us.
Yesterday, her “Nora Grace” flag was flying loud and proud. That’s the little girl I know and love. And she shared herself with my family, my coworkers, and our neighbors.
She’s growing up so quickly. But the love I have for her will always feel just like it has from the very beginning. It makes me feel… full. Someday (a LONG time from now), I hope she will understand it—when she holds a baby of her own.
AboutI'm Heather. I just turned 30. I'm happily married, and mommy to the most beautiful little girl in the world (what, you're saying I could be biased?). Determined DIYer and homeowner. Sarcastic. A perfectionist. A bleeding-heart liberal. Frugal. Loves a little dog way more than many humans. Loves food, hates exercise (it's an ongoing battle). A loyal football fan. I love to laugh. Value family and friends above all else. Vie to be a world traveler.
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