I recently enjoyed reading the open, very thoughtful and personal blog of a former colleague and admired the photos of her daughter, whom I’d never met. Her daughter is about five months older than my 16-month-old son Nathan, and it’s fun to read about what her family is going through and the things her daughter says and does that I look forward to experiencing when Nathan gets there. The “conversations,” the activities, like singing songs and playing games, and the deepening intellectual connection. I was imagining what Nathan might look like when he’s a little older and felt the deep thrill of parenting all over again, just like I did within a few hours of Nathan’s birth when it hit me — I’m his mom!
I’m so excited for what’s next. I’m excited to have so much in front of me and so much to look forward to. And I’m excited for all of it, especially this summer as he reaches 18 months of age. I’m excited to see him first thing in the morning and hear his sweet little voice greet me with “woof woof” instead of hi. I’m excited to hear him laugh at my silliness, watch him smile when I tell him it’s bath time and help him put together his safari puzzle again, a new skill he recently acquired that blew me away.
I’m excited to buy him his next pair of shoes—boy, he grew out of the first two pairs quickly!—and get outside, walking and playing on the green summer grass. I’m excited to see what kinds of seasonal foods he’ll like next (strawberries are his current favorite) so we can share more meals together and expand our palates and our horizons.
And I’m excited for summer to really get underway so we can work together in the garden. (I think the only “work” accomplished will be me keeping him from stepping on or ripping out all my plants.) I can almost see him carrying the basket of squash and zucchini, proud to be helping Mama. I think this summer will be even more fun than last, with lots of splashing and swimming, a good dash of running and dodging and many, many hours spent outdoors.
I love hearing him call my name, as it felt like forever before he’d finally say my name to get my attention. It comes out sounding more like “bwa bwa” than “Mama,” but that’s okay—he’s calling me! I love reading books together and how interested he is in books in general. I treasure not just the written word but also physical weight of a book, the way the pages feel and the crisp binding of a really good hardcover. How I hope he treasures these things, too!
I find myself wondering what activities he’ll enjoy as he gets older. Will he love crafts the way I do? Will he gravitate toward paint, crayons and paper? Or will he gravitate toward sports and outdoor activities—or maybe both? I’m excited to find out what will make him ‘him.’ There is so much to look forward to.
It’s easy to single out the big things that come a parent’s way… like a baby’s first words, a toddler’s first steps and a young child’s first day of school. Or a child gravitating toward a handmade doll as a favorite, take-everywhere toy, or turning to a hand-knitted blankie for comfort. (Oh, to be the creator of a child’s coveted favorite object! I’m still trying to make something that Nathan will love as much as his favorite store-bought doggie.) The big things are easy landmarks to find in a child’s development.
But what about the little things? Are they not equally as important? Because when added together, all the little things outweigh the big ones. Everyday life is comprised of lots of little things strung together with a few big things thrown in; and although everyday life is ordinary, each moment has the potential to be extraordinary.
I’m finding that it’s all the little things that are really exciting to me. Maybe it’s because they happen so often, or because I feel lucky to be able to witness them. Each day brings countless opportunities for joy and reasons to be happy, thanks to this little guy who made me a mom. It’s the excitement of motherhood. And I know I’m not the only mom who feels it.
Kelly Patla is a stay-at-home mom, freelance writer, knitter and crafter (among other things) living with her husband and son in rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She writes about how she creates her family home and her family’s adventures at home on her seasonal blog Creating A Family Home. She also sells her crafts and original knitting patterns in her Etsy shop.