Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Can't Believe I've Been a Mom for 10 Years!

Growing a tail in preparation of her 10th b-day
I couldn't wait to have a baby. Could. Not. Wait. Ten years ago today, my baby girl Bethany Madeline was born and my wait was over. She came out with a head full of red hair and was making silly faces by the time she was four months old. She made me a mom and changed my life forever.

Bethany was born on a Monday afternoon, and by Friday I was wearing my size 4 pants. I had no stretch marks. I was 26 years old and a mom of one and I used to scrub and soak her clothes until there was not the tiniest inkling of a stain on one little thing. Even her socks. Before she could crawl, I would purposely leave her things around the house and in the car, so I would have constant reminders of her wherever I was. When she started to crawl I didn't have to do that anymore because she did it for me. She liked to take everything out of the kitchen cupboards and crawl inside. 

Chicago - Age 6
When Bethany was 10 months old she started to walk and run pretty much simultaneously. She was totally undeterred by falling down repeatedly. Around this time I discovered that Bethany would be having a sibling and I started to worry about how I could possibly love another little being as much as I loved her. I didn't know yet how my heart would stretch and make room and that I'd never have to worry about being able to love one of my babies enough because it happened as easy as taking a breath.

Bethany slept through the night early on and used to fall asleep listening to Billie Holiday. She was talking in sentences by the time she was one, and by the time Connor was born she was already so grown up, she didn't even seem like a baby anymore. Watching her grow was so exciting, I couldn't wait to see what she would do next. I didn't know yet how time changes when you become a parent, that everything happens so quickly and that I would later wish I could slow time just to savor a milestone or a stage a little longer. 

Age 28 months
From the start, Bethany was gregarious. She liked to talk to everyone. I remember having lunch with my Aunt Char and as we were leaving the restaurant, Bethany stopped at each and every table to wave and say good bye. I don't think she was yet two. Her first day of preschool, she ran in and never looked back. She makes friends easily and quickly and seems, even now, to have no preconceived notions about who she "should" be friends with. One of the best things one of her teachers ever told me at a parent/teacher conference was that Bethany gets along with everyone and is friends with kids from all different groups.

Bethany loves fashion and music and art. She walked on her toes for years and has had unbelievable muscle tone in her legs since she was about three. She's strong and capable and likes to take charge. She can almost fit into my shoes. And now she's 10.

Happy Birthday, Bethany!
Age 3 1/2 - First dance recital 
5th Birthday

Meeting Cinderella @ Disney World - Age 5

1 comment:

Tracy Balderach said...

OH, she's so does by so fast. I am tearing up reading about all of the things you remember about her as a baby and toddler...don't you wish we could push the pause button? I'd do the worst days over again a million times just to slow the clock- hope you had fun celebrating your oldest! You are so blessed!