I sat there crinkling, smoothing, crinkling and re-smoothing the colored paper in my hands. Willing my tired eyes to focus on the words. The important details of the end of the school year. That was it, she was done with kindergarten…another step on the ladder climbed, another step towards the future. The future with it’s constant beat taunting us with all that would be and how life would keep changing. I looked over at her raspberry stained face, reading a book to her sister, with quiet intent. For a moment I saw the tiny baby that fit perfectly into the groove of my fleshy arms, like she was always meant to be there. I saw her waddling first steps and all the seconds between then and now. Bittersweet.
The moment you lay your weary, scared and hopeful eyes on your child for the first time it is there. Love. Love at it’s best. Pure, raw with NO conditions.
In the days before becoming a parent wise and experienced people will calm your fears and tell you how fiercely you’ll love your child, what a great parent you’ll be. Yet you’ll doubt them and question yourself. Because you’ve lived a selfish life. No matter how caring and giving you were before becoming a parent you were the only piece of yourself. That changes when you have a child, there will forever be more pieces to you, to your soul.
What a crazy, awesome, messy love is parenthood. A love that evolves. A love that grows and strengthens along with your child.
My gaze still fixed on her, I watch her laughing now thinking of all the laughter and tears in her future. Of all the things that will change. How each day she relies on me just smidge less and more on herself. It’s everything I want for her. I realize I don’t need to know all that the future holds or what choices she’ll make. Right now it’s enough to know that me and my love are coming along for the ride…evolving with her.