Falling in Love with Ada: Part II

>> 12.20.2012


Do you remember when I wrote that whole post about falling in love with Ada? Well, there's now a part II. November 2011 to November 2012 was such a blur, I had trouble with my feelings and emotions related to motherhood. I think a lot of it was being so caught up in getting through cranky days, sicknesses, and sleepless nights to notice when things were good.

OK. Maybe I didn't tell you all this stuff e.x.p.l.i.c.i.t.l.y -- spell it out -- but I know you garnered it from other things I wrote. I'm that transparent with my writing. With my words.

We have (far) more good days than bad now that we crossed that imaginary finish line out of the first year. Obviously nothing actually HAPPENED on Ada's birthday to make life easier. It's a combination of those developmental milestones, a well established routine, and parents -- Ashley and Stephen -- who have learned a hell of a lot through trial and many, many errors.

Sorry, dear Ada. 
I am also first-born. 
I, too, know the drill.
And I'm sorry to say,
More are mistakes are to come.

Cut ahead. After I posted Ada's Christmas List yesterday, I remembered that I already had some crayons in our junk drawer. So, I pulled this out this afternoon and sat Ada on my lap to "draw" as much as a 13-month-old can doodle.

Then it hit me: She's sitting on my lap! Snuggling, even.

Ada has been fiercely independent regarding physical contact since she could move on her own. I longingly stare at other mothers' photos of their sleeping babies/toddlers on their chests. The minute Ada could roll over, she would have none of that cuddle business. And if you even breathe in her direction during a nap or bedtime, she will wake with such a fury -- well, let's just say Stephen and I can each make it through long tunnels without a single inhale or exhale.

But this afternoon in my lap? Totally content. For more than thirty seconds. Not squirming or screaming as she so often always used to do. Then I remembered she had done this whole snuggle thing the night before, too. We watched an episode of Curious George and she melted into my arms. And there was also that time a couple days ago when she brought me a book and moved my arm to sit in my lap.

PAY ATTENTION, ASHLEY.
THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING.

To be entirely honest, there were so many times that first year when I felt like Ada could take or leave me. But now? Now there's this whole new feeling I get from her. The relationship doesn't feel so one-sided. There's a truer, stronger connection. I actually said to myself this afternoon: "I have a . . . daughter!"

I got so incredibly excited for what's to come. What we'll see and do together. It was like my whole FUTURE life flashed before my eyes. I saw Ada grow and learn and change and I was part of it. And, though I know it was only my imagination talking, she wanted me to be. We have a whole lifetime ahead of us, my daughter and I.

I will definitely be saving those little scribbles. Not for the memory of Ada's first drawing, but for all those memories to come.

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