The hardest part about being a transplant is experiencing significant life events as a distant spectator. Even if you live where you grew up it’s probable that someone you care about is far away. Most of the time the distance is bearable, especially because social media has bridged the gap. We have access to all the current happenings. That may be so, but there are still certain times when the distance is difficult and you are forced to be a spectator when you want to be a major player. New babies and Mother’s Day are just two of the many times this is true.
Dear New Mom,
It’s hard to believe that it has been nearly a year since you became a mother. Just last year on Mother’s Day weekend we showered you with love as you anxiously awaited the arrival of your sweet baby girl. Just one short (or rather long) month later a precious baby would change your life as you knew it.
You see, while you were preparing and nesting, the veteran mothers around you were eagerly waiting to welcome you to the club. You were offered care, support, and advice whether it was welcome or not. It was all we could do as you were readying yourself for the hardest job of bringing a new life into the world… and what a wonderful job you did.
Of course I was ecstatic at being an aunt again, but after the initial celebratory feelings set in, the lasting emotion was pride. Your hard work, your labor, had not gone unnoticed. I was so proud of your perseverance, unending determination, your sweat and tears…proud to welcome you to the club, sister.
We came into each other’s lives when you were just an awkward preteen. You were just another little sister. Through your teen years I watched from the sidelines and, at times, wondered how you were going to make it out whole. It was the beginning of my support to you, whether it was welcome or not (and I know it was mostly not). Things mellowed out like they usually do, and you grew up. Like me, you had fallen for your high school sweetheart, and before I knew it you were no longer a little sister, but a woman in your own right.
Then you became a mother: a gorgeous, wonderful mother, shining with a new beauty the world had yet to see. You began to understand what it meant when you heard other women say they had no idea what their life was like before they were mothers. You began to look at your husband in a new, brighter light, and he looked to you with an even deeper love.
Nearly one month shy of your daughter’s first birthday you celebrate your first Mother’s Day. Eleven months under your belt, you’ve experienced the joy of baby’s first smile, first laugh, first food, first step, first word. You’ve experienced the frustration of the first blowout, first illness, first bump and bruise, first tooth, first temper tantrum. All this and more, and you wonder how in the world we only get one day.
Here’s the secret, if you haven’t already figured it out: every day is Mother’s Day. You are the center of that girl’s universe. For the next forever years you get front row seats to the beautiful, good, bad, and ugly. You’ll get to experience the “terrible twos”, which is equal parts terrible and wonderful. There will be first bike rides without training wheels, first scraped knees, first lost tooth, first day of school, first sass back, first spelling test, first feelings of not good enough, first crush, first boyfriend (or girlfriend), first kiss, first break up, first ride in the car as a passenger (and it’s not the husband driving!). This list will never be exhaustive, yet it’s exhausting just to think about it. That’s the epitome of motherhood.
I wish you a happy Mother’s Day from the bottom of my heart. I hope you get as spoiled as you deserve on this one day that celebrates all the days of your year. I know that I only get to experience your journey from a distance, but please know that I feel honored that at times you have had enough confidence in my own journey in motherhood to seek advice (or really just seeking validation, because you got this, mama.) You have done wonderfully in your first eleven months as a mother. I’m very proud of you. Motherhood suits you.
With much love,
A veteran mother
Happy Mother’s Day, to all the mothers, aunts, sisters, grandmas, teachers, mentors, and friends who nurture and support our children, from all of us at Cedar Rapids Moms Blog!
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