Today while Emily was napping the contractor who has been working on our apartment came by. He wanted to check on the floor he had recently fixed in Emily’s room. He had given me no advanced warning. When I told him she was napping in there he said, “I’ll be quiet.” I paused a moment in disbelief and said, “No. Sorry. She needs to sleep.”
He’s a very nice man and certainly didn’t mean to piss me off, but come on!
What strikes me most when I reflect on this now is the fire I had inside of me in that moment when he said, “I’ll be quiet.” I pictured Emily taking a serene nap and a man she doesn’t know suddenly entering her room. No way! My internal mama bear instinct was screaming “GET OUT!” I didn’t say this to him, but I was definitely thinking it.
Mama bear instinct is real. This past year I’ve been stuck by how loud it is and how protective I feel of Emily. I never knew I could feel this way about another human being! In the past a weak point of mine has been creating clear boundaries with others. My need to people please often came before my ability to take care of my own needs. That’s not the case with Emily. I have no problem saying NO if it’s not in her best interest.
I’ve been thinking a lot about self-care lately. I’ve been reimagining what it looks like and how it feels. I’ve been asking myself- what if I were to offer myself the same love, attention and respect I offer to Emily every day? Today I’m thinking that sometimes the ultimate act of self-care may be to just say,”GET OUT!”
It has been a true blessing this past year to introduce Emily to yoga. It has been amazing watching her grow and become an active part of my yoga practice. Here is a compilation of our yoga playtimes together. She’s the best yoga buddy I could ever ask for!
In honor of Emily’s first birthday I put together a video of pictures and videos of her first year. It was difficult, to say the least! Digital photos gave me the advantage of having countless visual memories (and tears as I looked through them), and the disadvantage of being extremely overwhelmed! It’s pretty much impossible to edit down adorable memories as a mama.
I was able to find a few themes to organize the video. One was Emily and her best friend, our five year old dog (and first baby), Romeo.
I’ll be honest with you- Romeo is the best dog in the world. He’s the chillest dog I’ve ever met. He has not once barked when someone has rung the doorbell. His tail has two speeds- slow or medium, and he reserves those tail wags for very special occasions. He’s sensible, sweet and patient. Even though he sleeps most of the day, he is always game to play with his friends in the park or go for a ride in the car and go on an adventure. I’ve always loved him with all my heart, but seeing how sweet he is with our baby girl makes me appreciate him even more. In honor of Emily’s first birthday and her best friend, Romeo here’s Emily and her best friend through the year.
On Saturday as millions of people participated in the Women’s March Emily took her first steps. How incredible that on such a historic day when people marched to have their voices heard, Emily decided to walk too! I am so proud to live in a country where millions can gather together to peacefully protest. And I am so proud to have a daughter who day after day inspires me and reminds me that the future is bright.
I will never forget the feeling of elation when President Obama was elected. My best friend Beth and I were living in “Bethica’s treehouse” our cozy first ever grown up apartment in Clifton. That’s also the year Puddin’ came into our lives. She was a huge Obama supporter, as you can see! Puddin’ left this world a few months ago, way too soon. She is so missed.
I watched Oprah interview Michelle Obama a few weeks back and the thing that struck me the most was when Oprah asked how the First Lady was able to deal with all the criticism. She answered to the effect of- “well I’m a grown up.” I’m so frightened that being a grown up- someone who can handle criticism and other opinions with dignity and respect- is on the way out and immaturity, disrespect, and tantrums are on their way in. I hope I’m wrong.
President Obama said, “The path that this country has taken has never been a straight line. We zig and zag, and sometimes we move in ways that some people think is forward and others think is moving back.” I have to believe that even when we are zigging and zagging we inevitably are moving forward towards compassion, understanding, and peace.
Seeing the momentum of the Women’s March gives me hope. While I won’t be there, I’ll be watching, praying and believing that the passion of so many will keep us moving forward and not backward. Let’s make our sons and daughters proud and not give up the rights that others fought so hard to grant us.
Here is our first video of 2017. Hard to believe in just a few short weeks Emily will be one year old! How far we have come.
I type this with one hand as Emmy sleeps in my arms. To think a year ago she hadn’t even arrived!
2016 started with the birth of our sweet baby girl which changed the course of our lives forever. Ten weeks later came our first nephew and godson Miles.
By summer we settled into our new home. I watched my best friend marrying the love of her life, and saw our friends’ welcoming their baby girl, Aylya. The summer ended with the loss of my grandmother, the strongest woman I knew.
Then came the birth of our friends’ baby boy, Lee. And the arrival of one of my oldest friend’s baby boy, Jake. Now the year ends with our nephew Preston Ryder arriving just in time!
There was so much new life! (Welcome also to Juliette and Gemma!) There was also death. There was LOVE. There was pain. There was everything in between.
To all of my family and friends near and far who have been so supportive this year as I settled into new motherhood, I love you!
Nanna, I hope you’re watching us today and celebrating with us.
Farewell 2016! Onward to 2017. Let’s see what you may bring.