nine years

It was precisely nine years ago this afternoon that I was holding our very first born, chubby little bundled up baby. I can still remember Kenji leaning over and remarking how she had the tiniest little baby eyelashes he had ever seen. Like "did you know babies have eyelashes? can you believe it!?" And then I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and dill pickles and I still think of that as the absolute best grilled cheese sandwich of my life. Funny how you remember those things right? 

The pregnancy itself was difficult and generally pretty un-glamorous, but once the baby was here, oh! That was it. I found my calling. Babies are pretty much my thing. The swaddling and bathing and nursing and copious amounts of cuddling. I kind of learned how to do it all with this first one. I mean you can read all the books but nothing quite compares with the experience of actually being a mom yourself.

I think one of the best pieces of parenting advice came from my best friend, shortly after Naomi was born. She told me that you're really only as old as a parent, as your first baby is a child. I'm not even sure I really got it at the time, but I can't tell you how many times I have thought of that over these last nine years. All the moments where I've felt I was failing as a mom or could've done a better job, I reminded myself, we're in this together. It's ok that I don't know everything. This is my first time. We're going to slip up sometimes. That's life.

And so today, we have been doing this together for nine years. But really, with Naomi, being in this together feels an awful lot like just being with an old friend. A friend who likes staying up late watching the BBC classics together and indulging in our favorite black and white cookies from the nearby deli. Or reading Nancy Drew books, or swooning over Van Gogh. Or stopping for a strawberry lemonade while out running errands and getting sucked into a 2 hour conversation about the history of religion. This girl, you would just not believe she is only nine. She is incredibly compassionate and hard working and the whole world is kind of her home. Her heart, it's pure gold. And I would be lying if I said I wasn't just a little bit crushed when she said she's ready to move out and onto the sailboat. I mean, I'm not sure I'm ready for this independance! But then you have to think, this is good. That they have passions and adventurous spirits and they feel good stepping out and pursuing what they love. So while I'm happy that no one is moving out just yet, I really do love seeing this girl grow up and I can't wait to see what this year holds for her!

Happy birthday Naomi!! You are such a gift to us. 

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