I'm going to try to write this without audibly sobbing - or laughing for that matter - since an exhausted young lady is currently sleeping on my lap.
I know this blog is a lot about food, but it's also a bit about life. My life. And the lives of three people who eat regularly at our table, along with the friends and family that gather with some frequency.
And as such, it is my duty to inform you that today is a special day. A day that, as cliche as it is, changed the course of my life but one year ago. The Bean is one. One. One whole year. One of what I pray to be many - maybe even a hundred.
She came. She took my breath away and also took every ounce of energy I had. She took my sleep, and sometimes my sanity. But she gave, too. She gave me smiles, giggles, snuggles. She gave me her trust. She gave me the opportunity to reach into the very depths of my being, my soul, and discover who I am.
I've often heard the phrase "having a child changes you", though I'm not quite sure that that's right. Having a child reveals you. It reveals your strengths and weaknesses. It reveals your vanity, jealousy, and selfishness. It reveals your kindness, patience, and love.
This child, in her first year of life, has learned to hold her head up, sit up, crawl, and walk. She eats, sleeps, and makes audible noises that have meaning. Perhaps not at the same pace as her peers - or as the mommy blogs said. And definitely regardless of any vain-pride, disappointment, or inadequacy that I felt. And boy, did I have those feelings.
I questioned myself and my God more in the first year of her life than in the previous 28. But in doing so I learned so much about all three of us. My God is there - when my milk never came in and I spent months feeling depressed and inadequate that I had to feed my baby formula. My God is there - in the quiet moments when life was so full. My God is there - when my husband was far away for work and my child vomited (for the fifth time that day) on my last clean shirt, soaking me all the way though. My God is there. Of this I am sure.
I am strong. With His strength. She is strong. With His strength. We, as a family, are strong. By His grace. And it's taken me pretty much this whole year to figure that out.
So on this day, I celebrate her. And I celebrate all that she is in my life. It has only been a year. I am so looking forward to all the rest of them.