“The days are long but the years are short.” I have no idea where I heard this once, but it’s definitely fitting when it comes to parenthood. My days are often filled with tantrums and tears; it’s not a typical day without at least one complete meltdown. Some days are a real struggle, if I’m being totally honest, and seem to just go on and on and on and… you get the idea. This last year has really just flown by, though, and it makes me sad that we’ve officially entered the “toddler” stage. My baby is not such a baby anymore.
When you become a parent, you really have to take a step back and stop rushing things. During all the tantrums, you have to remind yourself that this, too, shall pass, and before you know it, your child will be another year older.
Of course, my days aren’t totally filled with tears. My days are also filled with love and laughter; between the tantrums, we cuddle and we play on the floor together and we have regular dance parties in front of the television. She’s my sun, moon, and stars, my pride and joy, my reason for living, my greatest accomplishment, my happiness, my inspiration. She is the little love of my life, and she’s a year old already.
A couple of days ago, a good friend of mine informed me that her water broke (three weeks early!) and she was looking at having her baby soon. I began to cry, thinking that exactly one year prior, I was preparing for the arrival of my own bundle of joy. The realization of just how quickly these twelve months have gone finally hit me, and I was a wreck.
When R’s birthday finally rolled around yesterday, though, I was happy – excited, even. I’m entering a new stage of parenthood. It’s terrifying, but it’s exciting!
I had a whole party planned out: it was going to be a winter theme, with pretty blue cupcakes and all sorts of different snacks. The night before, we went out and bought all our supplies and I prepped several pounds of vegetables, made two different kinds of dip, assembled a ton of pepperoni pinwheels that would be cut in the morning, baked forty-two cupcakes, and set our table up. In the morning, I threw some hot dogs into the crockpot with barbecue sauce. We were ready for a party, and we were expecting around twenty or twenty-five people to show. It was my very first time hosting a party like that and I was really excited to have people over.
And then… everyone canceled. Mother Nature seemed to have her own ideas about the day, and snow had made the roads difficult to drive on. Our guest list drastically decreased to just two people. All the food, all the effort, all the time I had put into getting things ready felt wasted. What was the point?
To say that I was upset would be an understatement. I had high hopes for R’s first birthday party to be a total success, and instead, it felt like a failure. Many tears were shed that morning.
Despite my disappointment, I did have a good day, and most importantly, so did R. She got to see her maimeo and Aunt Kristin and she really did seem to have a blast. She danced, we all ate cake, we handed out presents, and spent some time together. R got a cool new bath toy, an adorable stuffed dog, an AquaDoodle mat, and a Little People amusement park structure. She had such a great time, and so did her father and I. We have snack food up to our eyeballs, but at least we won’t go hungry this week, I guess. It wasn’t a perfect party, but we enjoyed ourselves.
If there are anymore children in our future, I’m hoping none of them will be winter babies. I don’t think I could take another disappointing party. I’m not even sure I want to host another party again anyway.
At least we had a good time. That’s all that really matters.