If you're anything like me, the overall goal after being discharged from the maternity ward is to get baby home (in one piece) and keep your baby alive... as long as possible. Every day that you accomplish this task is a day you're proud of. You're so concerned/obsessed that you sneak peeks into your baby's bassinet to make sure that the sweet little tummy is moving up and down with each breath. If you aren't able to see it for certain, that baby is probably going to be prodded awake. Mommy (the one with the luggage bags under her worried eyes) will breathe a sigh of relief and resume mommy duties to calm baby back into sleepy stupor (relying on sleepy stupor for the belief that it could eventually evolve into a sleeping-like-a-baby-kinda-nap because that's pretty much what a newborn's mama is functioning on - sleepy stupor.)
Mommies don't actually sleep. Once you become a mother, you can kiss that goodbye. Every night, a mommy crawls (exhaustedly) into her cool sheets. Her eyes need not flutter closed - they SLAM shut. Every second of 'shut eye' is an accomplishment. If mommy can turn her mind off from writing mental lists (that she'll never remember) she may enter a low level of sleep. Never a drunken, flat, REM sleep - just a form of survival sleep, best described as sleeping with one eye open and audio full ON. Mommies hear every groan of the icemaker, every whirring on of the air conditioner. Mommies can even hear a child muttering in his/her sleep from one end of the house to the other. Mommies know the sound of a plush, stuffed lovey hitting the carpet and whether that hit requires retrieval or if the owner of said lovey will make it through the night without their washing machine-worn companion. We fail to achieve quality sleep because of our worry. From what I hear, that continuous worrisome condition never actually leaves - even when you're children are grown, married, and essentially the responsibility of their spouse.
Mommies are control freaks, even if you never see that freak flag flying - it's there. If things aren't done just the way that we would do them, the task hasn't been done 'good enough.' Sometimes we'll let that slide if it's not of utmost importance. Sometimes we'll make our peace with less-than-perfect and no one will be the wiser. It's not that we're mean. It's just that the amount of love we have for the children that grew in our bodies for 9 months is so great - so bountiful... it cannot be contained. It's literally an overflowing fountain of never-ending proportions. That love can be volcanic and begin consuming everything... I'm sure it could destroy villages if it wasn't molded to societal standards of appropriateness. So it's overflowing and flooding landscapes. These landscapes are birthday parties, room decor, Christmas menus, gift-selecting, neighborhood moving, school district locating, and on and on and on. If you're the husband of a mother, you've probably noticed psychotic tendencies at times when regarding your children and family. If you're a babysitter, you've likely seen it in the redundant multi-page instructions we've tucked neatly (and obviously positioned) in a pristinely organized diaper bag, and you may have discreetly vomited in your mouth when you saw the display of affection we showered on our littles. My apologies, truly. That little brat is our world and any explanation could be lost on those who haven't mothered a child. (I am speaking as a biological mother, so other aspects of mothering are lost on me. Please excuse me if I've not covered your specific lot as a mother or guardian.... if I don't know it firsthand, it would be a waste of your read because my depth of understanding would be so shallow and I could only derive from imagination.)
So with no further delay, I am pleased to announce that my third child has her one year birthday coming on Saturday! Balloons, paper globes, pink, pink, and more pink! Princess-ey pink glimmer dripping from our low-grade chandelier, and a touch of magic poured on by mommy. I know she won't remember this day (probably much after the day ends) but I need this for me. I need a pink party to signify that I did this. I kept my gripey little luvkin alive for a whole year! Somehow, it feels like a huge achievement; that she's less breakable now that 365 have literally passed and that each day has somehow strengthened her. 365 units of resilience applied to one blonde tuft haired baby.
May God bless this baby and all who think of her on pink saturday!
Pink pictures to come!