Bebé Plus Me: The Power of One

Blogger-in-Chief's Note: This post was first published on November 3, 2011 to celebrate the 1st birthday of Baby L.  Lil's Sis' reflection of the challenge and wonder of watching her first and only baby grow in her womb, in the world, and always in her heart, plus the gratitude to los abuelos, especially Mami, is a tribute to all the women whose sacrifice and love are the bedrock upon which our our families and neighborhoods thrive.  On this Mother's Day and every day, thank you!

“Where did the time go?,” a cliché that sums up my total disbelief as my little miracle turns one.  I am an emotional wreck as I reflect on every moment and milestone leading up to Baby L’s birth and now her first birthday.  She has changed our lives and made it better in ways we never could have imagined which you can read by clicking here to read previous Bebé + Me posts.

I have watched her every move through eyes clouded by proud tears or eyes made wide by my smile braced by a dimple of love and another of admiration.

Her first smile--you know the one she held, not a passing cheek contortion that could accidentally pass as a grin.

Her first imitation of our sounds.

Saying mama although now she only says dada.

Her first giggle, which came much after she burst out laughing with her big beautiful brown, twinkling eyes.

The first time she discovered her fingers fit perfectly in her “doggy brother’s” nose (like the good boy and Big Golden Retriever Bro that he is, he just sighed, nonplussed by her non-stop curiosity.

Treasuring the first time she pulled herself up to stand, clutching the coffee table with her little hands.  Soon, that action, like so many others, will become a reflex, a sign of how quickly she is growing.

So I write--and can forever--because I don’t want to miss anything.

I write because I want to document everything.

I write because I'm afraid I’ll forget.

The Wise Latina Club's Baby L Turns 1

Without sounding like a starlet accepting an Academy Award, I have a few people to thank for not allowing me to disappear during Baby L’s first year in a sinkhole of exhaustion and insecurity:

El Husband.  Baby L is your world and you have become the man I always knew you could and ultimately would be.  To watch the bond between father and daughter, automatic since she was born and growing with each day, has humbled me.  She adores you and doesn’t try to hide it, as she will in many years when she crushes on a high school boy.  Pure, unadulterated love. Thank you babe.  You are our (including the Golden’s) rock.

Mami & Papi, por todo, gracias.  Where do I start?  How about: we would not have survived Baby L’s first year were it not for your love, support, amazing meals and unsolicited parenting advice dating back to 1950s Colombia which is 1850s the rest of the western world.  There is no libro (hat tip Papi) or guide better than your brujería, all the old wive’s tales that have tenderly nurtured our seedling family, starting with enchumbando--tightly swaddling--Baby L to living the Happiness Mantra of un niño bien comido y limpio es un niño feliz (Translation: Fed and changed diaper = Happy Baby).  Baby L’s face lights up when she sees her ya-yos, the name she babbles when she sees her abuelos).  So blessed that you two are in her life!

Baby L.  Thanks for making me not just a mother, but a Mami, a direct blood line to my own and her madre, ad infinitum--the biggest compliment anyone could pay me.  Every day, I am grateful for the blessing of YOU.  I love you more than you will ever know.

On your first birthday, ¡Feliz Cumpleaños!

What were your feelings as your baby turned one?