My husband and I have been fortunate to be able to spend the last two weeks at home with Livie as we both had this time off of work for the Christmas break. It has been so nice (and needed!) to be able to take a break from the everyday hustle and bustle that comes with being two full-time working parents. It allowed us to slow down, reconnect as a couple and as a family, and even find some time for ourselves.
Having spent my days with Livie over these last couple of weeks, I had a chance to really take in just how much she has grown and changed over the last few months since I started back at work. That’s when I had the bittersweet realization that my precious baby Livie was not a baby anymore.
When you are a new mom, everyone (and I mean everyone!) tells you to “take it all in” and “enjoy every moment” because “they grow up so fast”. Now I know for myself how true this is. It seems like time has sped up ten-fold since Livie was born. It’s as though life is on fast-forward. It still feels like it was just yesterday that I brought Livie home. When I think back to that day, I can still feel the mix of emotions I experienced, from the tremendous joy and excitement to the anxiety, fear, and insecurity. I recall feeling as though I had the world of time ahead of me to devote to spending my days with Livie, just admiring her every sound, gaze and movement and tending to her every need. Then, in the blink of an eye, the year was up. It was just like every one had warned me about.
Here we are, 16 months later and Livie is now a walking, talking, curious, expressive, quirky, happy and determined toddler. It has been an amazing journey getting to know this little person. She is a smart little girl who is determined to do most things on her own and doesn’t like when we try to help her. She communicates well using some words and gestures and is very good at making herself understood. She is sociable and caring and loves the family dog and cat so much that she cannot leave the house without waving goodbye to them. Her favourite things to do these days are imitate everything we do, say “no” to just about everything, play fetch with the dog, meow like the cat, and pretend play with her play kitchen.
I still find myself admiring Livie with the same intrigue and amazement as I did when she was a baby. It is the most amazing thing to watch her grow and learn. Despite the sadness I feel that my baby is no more, I just can’t wait to see what Livie has in store for us next and am excited to continue to discover who she is.
The pride and love that Livie brings to my life is just so incredibly special. I love her in the way that only exists between a parent and their child. It’s an intense, unconditional, unrelenting, visceral kind of love. It’s the kind of love that fills you up so much that you feel like you could just burst. The most amazing part, is that this love gets bigger every single day. Every time I think to myself that it just can’t be possible to love anymore than I already do, the love grows. If I had to guess what true love is, I would say that I found it in Livie.