Sometimes I feel like I'm doing it all wrong. Do you ever feel this way? I know as parents no one ever really knows what they're doing, but sometimes I lay awake at night and worry and over think and wonder if I'm doing an okay job. And then other times I think to myself "I've got this! I'm doing it!" and feel like maybe I've cracked some sort of Mommy code. Rarely, but it happens. Parenting is crazy, right? But like I've said before, just as Henry is learning to be a four-year-old, I am learning to be a mama of a four-year-old. We're both learning. And the funny thing about Henry and me, is that we will always, always be the trailblazers of our family. Everything will always be new to us, but especially to me, as I navigate every obstacle, age, and milestone with him, for the very first time. This is both the blessing and the curse of a first child. You experience these things together but with those initial hurdles there are lessons (so many lessons!) and you learn by trial and error as you move through your days, weeks, months, years.
It is a truly fascinating thing, parenting yourself. Henry is me and everyday I feel in awe that I created this little person who has inherited so many of my qualities. And sometimes it hurts so badly so see him hurt in the ways I remember hurting as a child, having such an open heart, wearing emotions on his sleeve, feeling things so very deeply. I worry at times about the things I see in him, that are in me- a quick temper, so many emotions, always thinking, thinking, thinking. But at the same time I look at these things and they have been such a gift for me, in so many amazing ways. But that's what parenting is all about right? We see ourselves in the children we raise, we have a chance to do better, be better, and in the best case, we do that.
It's funny to feel as if I've been a parent all of my life. I look back to "before," and it feels like a past life, a time before this that maybe existed in a different world. These four years feel like a million, but in the same breath I will tell you its gone by in an instant. The struggles of raising small humans to be grown up humans is universal. We all have hard days, we all have wonderful days. And those wonderful days, oh, they are magic! They're what keep me going, the days when we end it snuggled up reading in bed, talking about the happiest and best parts of the past 24 hours. Or with a baby cheek resting on my shoulder, little sighs in the dark, our tiny bubble of us, where everything is perfect and wonderful and right in the world. You have to have the hard days to get to the magic, you know? So we keep going, we keep learning. We stumble, we get back up. We adjust our sails, we continue on. And here they are, these little people, my biggest teachers, reminding me everyday that we are all here for the first time, figuring it out. And that if we just do all things with love, everything will most likely be a-okay.