today ella is one year old. i feel like i should win an award for surviving one whole year of motherhood but as i do my victory dance i feel the glare of mothers throughout the ages who are looking at me and thinking "puhlease - one year? try 10, 20, 30 years with 2, 4, 6, 8 kids THEN we can talk about a victory dance!". well then, i'll keep my victory dance to myself today.
i started crying three days ago over ella's birthday. both happy and sad. there's so much i want her to see in this world and so much i want to hide from her. i keep saying to craig "i don't want her to grow up" but i think the fact that i don't want to grow up either is a little more closer to the truth. she's so beautiful and smart and funny that i still still STILL cannot believe she's mine. craig and i play this little game where we'll be sitting and talking and all of a sudden ella will pipe in and one of us will stop and point to her and say "who the hell is THAT?" because, really, who IS this darling little creature?
i either read somewhere or heard somewhere that having a child is like having your heart beat on the outside of your body and while i always thought it sounded so cheezy and hallmark-y, i now can say that it is an accurate feeling. there's is such a fierceness, such a big love connected to having a child that it continually knocks me out. this isn't to say that you're missing out if you don't have kids because believe me, there's also fierce worry and frustration and lots to learn (at least for me anyway).
ella has brought so much happiness into my life and my family's life. my dad worked three jobs when i was growing up so my mom could stay home with me and my brothers and he didn't get to spend much time with us as babies. ella amazes him and he's always asking my mom "was lisa like this? how about the boys?". my mom is the quintessential grandma who has a present for ella every time she sees her, even if it's three days in a row. and even though it's the third grandchild for craig's parents, ella is still special to them in that unique baby way. for me, it's special because for so long i've heard craig's mom call our niece and nephew "treasure" which always warmed my heart and now i get to hear ella being called "treasure" too and i just love it.
i made ella chocolate chip pancakes for breakie this morning. later today we are going swimming with nate and adam and then my family will come over for cake. next week craig's family will be in town to celebrate ella's one year newness. so here's to the little bug that has changed my life and here's to another year of toys all over the floor, handprints all over my glass doors, more teeth, less drool and lots of teenie tiny hugs.