Lately, my happiest experiences have not come from flowers, paintings or culinary feats (the usual Pink Frenchie fare) but rather from my sweet one-year-old.
When I anticipated being a mother, I envisioned the clichéd (yet amazing still) experiences all mothers look forward to: the first smile, laugh, steps. What I never really considered were all those little peculiarities and quirks that make my little one a one and only. It has been these lovely, ever-changing details which have made my life as a mother evermore wonderful and my life as a human evermore happy. Here are just a few of my unexpectedly happy momma moments:
- When she eats something truly delicious, baby girl purrs in delight and utters "yyuummmm." Lately, this sound seems to be emitted primarily when devouring her favorite "Cuban Style Black Beans" or extra sweet raspberries. Who would've predicted that my little Nordic-looking baby would go gaga for spicy and savory snacks? Apple, sauce--nah. Pass the frijoles!
- Though my husband and I respectively have the worst singing voices known to human ears (okay, perhaps Gilbert Gottfried's is worse), when either of us stops singing, she sits up and says "yeah yeah yeah" and nods in encouragement. Sing more, mommma. Play it again, da-daa. Just one more round of "She'll be comin' round the mountain."
- All mothers know privacy comes at a premimum the minute your child is mobile. Now, when I go to another room (even if she's under the watchful eye of daddy), I almost immediately hear a knock-knock-knock at the door and the squeak of a tiny voice on the other side. Though I do relish my moments of solitude, I find those little taps at the door utterly endearing (for now, at least).
- We try to circle the neighborhood in the stroller at least once everyday. From the time she was six months old, baby would watch animals in excitment and gleefully point. From the slightly creepy crows that circle the outside of the apartment to the pooches in the park, our girl notices all the creatures great and small. Sometimes I forget to wonder at the world without her young fresh eyes taking me along for the ride. Birds are astonishing. Dogs are a delight. Life is good.
- Something magical happens around the one year mark of babyhood. As much as we are all told children are "sponges," seeing your own child learn what you taught her is miraculous and spellbinding. In these last few months (and even more often in coming months and years, I'm sure), our toddler as revealed her new skills and words and expressions. From brushing her own teeth to putting on socks to turning off the lights, these quotidian tasks become praise-worthy when accomplished by a wobbly little blondie.
Love truly is in the details and happiness is meant to be embraced now. Whether the graceful love of a child or a passion pursued or a natural wonder witnessed, even in life's darkest moments, try to seek out whatever it is that makes you happy.