Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Today marks the last day of my baby's babyhood.

It sounds melodramatic, sure.  Like I am perhaps sitting with my back pressed against her nursery door, clutching a long-outgrown newborn outfit and sobbing "where did the time go?" over and over. 

{I am, for the record, not.}

{For maybe a millisecond, I considered it, though.}

Tomorrow, she will be one.  And, really, nothing much will have changed.  She'll wake as she does as of late, entirely too early, even for her own liking, announcing the dawn with great screeching.  We might have a quick snooze together in the rocker; we will definitely eat eggs and blueberries and a waffle for breakfast.  Hopefully, there will be a decent nap. 

Tomorrow, she will be one. She will be ecstatic her daddy is home longer than usual on a weekday, and  she'll get another rare taste of something sweet and sugary. But, mostly, it will be just another day.  She'll be none the wiser. 

I will know, however.  I will mark the technical division between baby and toddler on my heart, side-by-side with so many other milestones I've witnessed in the past year. 

I had plans and expectations for today, the last day of her infancy.  

I wanted to walk down by the lake and see the ducks.  We've done this nearly every day for the past two weeks, and you should see my girl watching those ducks.  She points and claps and repeats "duh duh duh" over and over and barks with all her might {in the animal sound department, what she lacks in diversity, she makes up in enthusiasm}.  But today was cold and rainy, and fresh air was not in the cards.  

I wanted to take my wee shoe aficionado to buy her first pair of shoes.  But a burglar alarm tech was scheduled to arrive for maintenance sometime in between one and five, and he, of course, showed up at 4:30.  

I hoped for a day of giggles and smiles, but my bug was somewhat of a teething monster.  There was whining and dramatic protestations.  There were mini-tantrums. 

By five p.m., I was barreling headlong towards bedtime.  As I wrangled that cranky sugar sack into her macaron jam-jams, my thoughts were not wistful or nostalgic; they were the thoughts of any other not-so-amazing Wednesday evening... what to make for supper, the messes awaiting cleanup, which size wineglass to bust out.  But we nursed and we rocked and her eyelids grew heavy and that damp shampooed baby hair scent did that heavenly thing it does so well.  

As I have every night since her birth, I sang the verses I remember my father singing to me as a child... 

Look in every corner, look in every place. 
Look in every city to find a pretty face.
And then come 'round to my house, 
And I'll show you more, my love adore. 

The day just fell away.  

All too quickly, she was asleep, warm and curled around my middle and into the crook of my arm, and I was reminded of all the plans and expectations I had a year or so ago... for my complication-free pregnancy, for my natural labor, for breastfeeding, for my post-partum body, for every parenting decision I'd so painstakingly researched as if it were a topic to be briefed. 

None of it went according to plan.  Some of it went straight down South in the proverbial hand-basket, in fact.  There were many tears and frustrations and so much worrying.  I mean, man, the worrying.  

But the moments in between, the big ones and the small ones.  That's the good stuff, right there -- the great stuff.  The takes-your-breath-away stuff -- the it's-almost-too-much stuff.  Those moments push expectations aside and say to you, grinning wide at the messy, brilliant beauty of it all, "now watch this - you won't want to miss it!"  

It took me a good twenty minutes to finally lay her down, knowing that when I picked her back up again the universe would have shifted ever so slightly. 

I say, Lord, she's as sweet as one of her pecan pies.
Listening to her laughter I get hypnotized.
Goodness knows I love my angel eyes.

Favorite Workout Buddy

The year just fell away, I tell you.  It just fell away. 


  1. couldn't have loved this more! thank you for sharing! my baby is almost 4 months and you are right the time just falls away!

  2. Well, I am sitting here with a big ol' lump in my throat from reading that. Beautiful words. Happiest of birthdays to L!

  3. Oh, this is perfect. So sweet. Mine is 15 months and you captured the one-year shift perfectly. Happy day to you both!

  4. That was beautiful! I love reading your posts. Happy birthday to your sweet girl!

  5. This was beautiful Kate! My little sugar is 2 months old and I'm already reminiscing for her tiny little newborn-ness. I'm going to be a hot mess when I find myself in your spot...a spot that will come all too quickly. My heart aches at the thought.

    Motherhood is filled with such bittersweet beauty, huh?

    Enjoy your day with your precious one year old - happy birthday L!

  6. I agree with those above. lumps and burning eyes! Thinking my sweet baby - will be one in three SHORT months! this babe that we fought so hard to get and keep will be a year old! I ask myself daily WHERE DID THE TIME GO? Your baby - or rather almost toddler - is very lucky to have such an amazing mommy as you! Happy Birthday L!

  7. Beautiful post. Happy birthday, L!

  8. I'll be reapplying mascara now. So sweet!

  9. Oh goodness. Way to make me cry before my coffee!! What a sweet post--even if your sugar sack was a wee bit not happy yesterday.

  10. Best 1 year old post I've ever read. Happy Birthday Miss L. Good job mom :)

  11. That was so sweet - and now I'm sitting in my office feeling all verklempt instead of billing time. My little one turns 1 in a month, how is that possible?? Happy birthday to sweet L.

  12. Such a sweet post! Happy birthday to your darling girl!

  13. So lovely. Happy birthday to your sweet girl!

  14. Happy birthday to L and happy one year of being a wonderful, loving, fully human mother to your little buglet :) xo

  15. This was beautiful, Kate. Happy First Birthday to L!

  16. Happy birthday sweet girl! I am thankful for your first year--so full of love, joy, good health, and wonderful parents! I love you so much! I can't wait to see all of the wonderful things that year two brings! xo

  17. Such a beautiful post Kate. You have such a way with words. Happy Birthday to your beautiful Leighton! And Happy First Year of Motherhood to YOU!

  18. Bring me a hanky, please. And happy birth day to you and happy birthday to Chillita! I love you both as much as you now know is possible. Spleeeccchhhh

  19. Tears! You put into words the feelings I am already having about my little man turning one in April. The time most certainly has fallen away!

  20. Such a beautiful post and it makes me so excited to become a mother myself one day soon. You put it into words so well. Happy Birthday to your sweet girl!

  21. Of course she acted like that yesterday, right? I'm trying to have a MOMENT here, kid.

    Happy Birthday to your girl!

  22. As we barrel towards my kid's 1st birthday (2 months and 3 days away...but who's counting), I can't help but agree that time has gone by so fast. I'm sure I'll be saying that as long as I'm a mother, but I just can't believe it. This time last year I was pregnant and waiting and now I'm running around after a crawler/nearly walker. I mean, I just can't with this.

  23. Thanks for making me cry while I'm at work. Sheesh! But, oh, how well you put into words those of a mother and her baby on the close of infanthood. Sigh... So far, toddler hood is a roller coaster, but really, on the whiney, fussy days, I have to just kiss her sweet cheeks and laugh since I know she's not giving me a hard time, just having hard time herself.

    Happy birthday, sweet girl!

  24. Add another cryer to the list. My sweet sidekick will be one in two months and the time is just flying by. Absolutely loved this!

  25. and now i'm crying. awesome.

    this was the perfect post. absolutely perfect way to sum up the first year. and this next one? more plans will go awry and things will be insane. but it's all so awesome. happy birthday sweet l! happy one year of motherhood sweet kate!!

    also, those two pics, y'all are twins.

  26. What a beautiful post!

    I just have to say that I have been following your blog since before you got pregnant and I have so enjoyed coming along this process with you. L is a beautiful little girl and you are just the kind of mama I hope to be someday. Thank you for continuing to share these lovely stories.

  27. Happy Birthday to the sweet girl! But may I give just one tiny bit of advice? I remember with my first baby girl, having the same kind of thoughts you're having. . .when she turns one, when we're past counting her age in months, she's not a baby anymore. But let me tell you, Leighton is still a baby! You have some good baby time left! With a 7 year old and a 4 year old, I can tell you with confidence, you will look back and realize that until at least age 3, she will still be a baby. So don't mourn too much yet, you've got at least a couple more years of that adorable baby-ness!

  28. My goodness you write well. And you are such a thoughtful mother. She's lucky, you're lucky, good fortune all around.

  29. So wonderful! Its hard watching our sweet children grown up, but so fun at the same time! Seems to be a pattern in raising a child. You write absolutely beautiful. Very touching, and sweet.

  30. What a beautiful post to your sweet girl. I have loved watching her grow on here over the past year, and even more, I have loved watching you become a mommy. Thank you for putting your heart out there and writing so eloquently.

    (also - she looks like your twin in those 2 pics!)


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