We celebrated Kate’s 11th birthday a few days ago. Wait…what?! It seems like only yesterday we brought home our wailing bundle of joy from the hospital on that suffocating, excruciatingly hot day at Fort Benning, Georgia. The day only became hotter for my husband who had to securely wrestle a car seat into our aging Dodge Dynasty. After assembling a crib, a swing, and a pack-n-play, you’d think installing an infant car seat would be a snap. Negative, ghost rider; ask any new parent. We apparently were unaware that six arms and an engineering degree would be required in order to effectively position the aforementioned 5-point harness child safety/restraining contraption.
When she turned a year old, Brian and I were ecstatic that we were able to keep a baby alive for an entire year! We never dropped her, forgot and left her in a car, or mysteriously locked ourselves out of her room or the apartment with her sleeping peacefully on the other side of said locked door. Wait, that did happen once…no, twice. Anyway, because Brian was deployed for months at a time, I kept in the forefront of my mind any and all weird possibilities of separation, illness, fire, etc., and how I would quickly and efficiently solve any emergency should it arise. I figured if I worried about something enough, I could somehow prevent it from happening! That obviously didn’t work, and it has become an increasingly arduous task to break that particular habit. I slept with a baby monitor by my head turned up so that it would literally hum and I could hear her breathing. It became like white noise to me and I couldn’t fall asleep without it. I didn’t get rid of the baby monitor until she was three years old, and in just a few short years, she’ll go away to college and boy, wouldn’t one of those come in handy! I’m sure they’ll make them with a longer range by then…
Kate may be our only child, but to us she is the agglomeration of every child–even tempered, but sometimes IMPOSSIBLE. (Yes, the caps are necessary). There are instances when I wonder if, under different circumstances, we’d even be friends. She is generous to a fault with her possessions (which is odd for an only child), but DO NOT clean her room, throw anything away, or rearrange the furniture. I threw a pair of old tennis shoes away once and she gave me the stank eye for nearly two solid weeks. She is silly and funny, but sometimes is so serious and pensive (usually right at bedtime) that sometimes I forget she’s only a child.
I didn’t always know what to do when she was a baby; most of the time it was enough to just let her cry on my shoulder. It still is sometimes. The most important thing I’ve learned is that I don’t have to know all the answers. Many times I don’t have to say anything at all. I also know I can enjoy the rare moments of parenting brilliance and completely forget the frequent moments when I am akin to a parenting Bumble–the abominable, grouchy, awkward, and bewildered mom of the Bluegrass state, incapable of finer sensibilities such as patience or rational behavior.
Things I’ve Gained So Far!
- Math is hard
- Molly Moon is sooo cool!
- I have a HUGE fad with CATS the musical.
- I really like Lady Gaga and B.o.B.
- I like House of Night books.
- Inuyasha is awesome.
- I like Warrior Cats.
- Reading/English/Religion are my strong points.
- I really like Pokemon.
- I have a big and great taste in music.
- I have discovered I like Neil Young.
“And when you finally fly away, I’ll be hoping that I served you well. For all the wisdom of a lifetime no one can ever tell. But whatever road you choose, I’m right beside you, win or lose. Forever young…”