A year…A whole year has passed since Kayla came into our lives a month earlier than originally planned. Today, as I watched Kayla play with her blocks and chase the cat and sing to herself in her crib, I marveled at the fact that she is, indeed, no longer and infant and is rapidly passing into toddlerhood seemingly before Adam and my eyes.
Kayla is, to say the least, a spirited child. She is very smart and quite determined to get her way. To date, her favorite game is to hide behind the couch and pop up whenever someone utters, “Where’s Kayla?” She is also very independent and does not look to Adam or to me to help her when she wants to reach something that is out of her reach. She also does not cry when she falls and bumps her head. She just gets back up and continues on her way. People have told us that we “are going to be in trouble when she starts walking” and I do not doubt it. Yet, people frequently comment that Kayla is a happy baby and that makes my heart swell with pride. Yes, she was born with “internal sunshine” but I have to think that Adam and I have something to do with making sure that the rays of sun and love are felt everyday.
As I reflect on the last year, I find myself looking inward and realizing that this year has not just been about this new life that we brought into the world. It also has to do with Adam and me. Having had Kayla has changed both of us…For the good. While Adam can still identify himself as a professional, a cook, a husband, son and a father, I now see myself as a mother first and foremost and then a wife, daughter and friend. What a profound change! Nothing that I do, it seems, occurs without my first thinking of how its effects will be felt by Kayla. That is not to say that I live for Kayla but rather that I have become less selfish, less self-absorbed. Yet I also find myself thinking of my nuclear family first before making any rash moves or decisions. That is also a huge difference in me. I am less impulsive than I used to be.
But perhaps I am getting a little too deep for this website? Anyway, the point is that the old Grateful Dead lyrics so frequently quoted in multiple high school year books may just apply as we look back on the year: “What a long, strange trip it’s been…” And, having survived it, I recognize that I am stronger because of all of the challenges that Adam and I faced while we tried to figure out how to be good parents to the infant Kayla.
Now we need to figure out how to be good parents to the toddler Kayla.