The weather cooperated and stayed mild and dry. So we were able to sit outside. Which afetrwards I realised just how helpful that was what with four toddlers running around like crazed chimps.
Food turned out well. The main stuff being; curried potato samosas, cheesy-oniony mini pastries, tuna pate, roasted veg cous cous, sweet corn 'bites', feta cheese filled roasted red peppers, and cornbread. I didn't make the cake - neither that brave, that talented, nor that energetic. And that picture topping is chocolate, not icing.
How great are our friends, who bought her only wooden toys, without me ever having said anything?
It was all slightly last-minute. I just wasn't that bothered, considering she was only one and the day's significance was lost on her. But I'm so glad we went ahead. The special day was duly noted with merriment, and she has photos and video to look back on.
She was born at 12:15pm, and I missed the moment because I was busy cooking. Then, while looking after her, guests, food, that toddlers weren't totally distroying our home.... for no apparent reason, I looked up at the time. It was around 7:15pm. My stomach knotted and breath escaped me. It was around this time a year ago that I first saw my baby. I took her into a quiet room, held her tightly, and wept. They hadn't let me see her for over 7 hrs. But here she was - healthy, happy, thriving, bonded.
So, what a year, ay?
Looking back on the year, I'm in total shock that it's been that long since I slept for longer than 2 consecutive hours! And so long since I slept for longer than 5 hrs in one night. It's amazing what the human body can do.
Everyone tells you how fast it goes. How you have to enjoy it while it lasts. But how many of us actually do this? I mean, at every moment? I've never experienced time move so fast. I've never had so much to do, so much to ponder. But for me, it was all about the Moment. About being present during each and every moment, both of difficulty and of bliss.
What makes all the difference to me, is that I can look back on the last year and feel content. I can look back and know that I gave 110% for my baby. Not in a martyr type of way, or a Super Mom way. Just in an total awareness of what I have type of way.
Being in the moment gave me the experience of...
Only ever losing my patience a couple of times (and doing nothing other than feeling impatient)
Cherishing every need for holding despite having a million things to do
Waking with a smile on my face despite the lack of sleep
Witnessing every single development
Feeling nothing but love during endless days of irritability
Creating a deep bond between us
On her day of birth, I thanked her for giving me the best gift - learning that mothering is not just about me as creatrix, not just about me doing and giving, All. The. Time. That it's also about me as a vessel. One that, if open, can take in all that this little soul has come to offer. She has taught me and allowed me to experience truer meanings of acceptance, patience, relationship, emotional release, and being present.
One of my spiritual philosophies is that we all come from the Great Dark Mother, which is the dark void of All and Nothingness. What I had never properly understood, was that a void not only produces, but it can also take back into itself. As mothers, I think we mostly forget that, or sacrifice it.
Thank you sunshine.