I fear I may cry tomorrow.
I’m leaving my baby girl and husband for a long weekend, and all I keep thinking about is the moment when I’ll have to get in my car and drive away, leaving my child hundreds of miles behind while I head north.
Before I became a mother, I had lots of opinions about mothers. Don’t we all? I found it a bit ridiculous that women would lament taking a vacation because they were sad about leaving their kids for a few days. It’s just a few days! I wanted to yell, proud of my healthy logic.
But they’re hard to walk away from, those little ones.
Don’t get me wrong–I am thrilled about uninterrupted morning coffee, sleeping without listening for cries, and living on my own schedule for a few days. Mostly, my heart is nearly bursting with happiness about spending those days with some of my dearest friends who have each moved away recently.
But I’ll miss both of them, the little one with the sweet, milky smell and her daddy, too.
This mothering thing keeps leading me to moments of, “Who in the world am I?” Not the girl I was five years ago or five months ago, and I love my Lord for that.
Five months ago today, I walked into a hospital just after daybreak. I was teary signing in–anxious and overwhelmed. Within just two hours, I saw you. And I recognized you, as if I had always known you, as if your face had forever been a part of my memory.
Caroline : 5 Months
You’ve grown wildly the past few weeks. You roll and scoot and twist along the floor, no longer contained by the small blankets I lay down. You officially conquered your swaddle. Last night was your first night without it, and you quickly rolled over onto your stomach and slept through the night. You babble and coo constantly; I think you may be a talker like your aunt.
We battle over naptime most days. You squirm and screech when you begin to fall asleep sometimes, but you usually settle down for me.
There’s a rhythm to our days now. Long morning walks, playtime in the floor, afternoon nap, evenings outside so you can look at the trees. Then there are days where it doesn’t work that way at all, and that’s okay.
I realize you’ll never remember the moments that make up these days, weeks, and months, but I hope someday you know how much joy it gives me to be the one rocking you each day, changing almost every diaper, giving almost every meal, watching the subtle changes in your behavior and laugh.
I love you. I love you. I love you.
On Sunday, I’ll celebrate my 26th birthday. I keep thinking that one of these years I’ll feel mature and adult-like and as if I actually fit into my own life stage. Maybe next year.
One of my goals for this year is to set goals. I’m good with big ideas, not so good with nailing down the details. I’m praying about making these goals more specific, but for now I’m publicly posting my working list of 26 goals. The first are specific to this coming year; the last are lifetime goals.
Goals for the this year:
- Complete the Home-Ec online class.
- Read the chronological Bible through.
- Play in the sand with Caroline for the first time.
- Keep up my yoga practice.
- Become a good enough sewist/seamstress/whatever-it’s-called to make some of my own designs and sew Caroline’s dresses.
- Host a memorable 1st birthday for Caroline.
- Create holiday family traditions–Christmas, birthdays, New Year’s, Easter.
- Be a part of leading someone to Christ.
- Lose all the baby weight before getting pregnant again.
- Provide a needy child with health care, education, and spiritual attention.
- Find the money in our budget to sponsor said child through reducing my personal spending.
- Own a house.
- Pray the entire year for a personal list of “big” prayer requests. Watch God work.
- Be active 5 days a week.
15. Hike in New Zealand.
16. Sail on the ocean and spend the night on a sailboat.
17. Write a non-fiction book.
18. More kids.
19. Run a 5k.
20. Open an online shop.
21. Visit the Redwood Forest and wine country with my husband (because what is more romantic than nature and wine?).
22. Serve on a mission trip to an African country.
23. Serve on a mission trip to a Central or South American country.
24.Grow my own garden.
25. Learn to can, ferment, and make excellent dill pickles.
26. Take my parents on vacation (and pay for the entire thing).
What about y’all? Do you set goals each year on your birthday or when the new year rolls around?