Ellen, over at Love That Max, is hosting a "Picture Carnival" today and asking bloggers to post their favorite picture of their kiddo and explain why it is their favorite. I wanted to participate, but truly, I've agonized over what my favorite picture of Sammie B is . . . there are so many fabulous ones that capture her fabulous fabulous smile and magical personality, so choosing one was quite hard. Do I pick one of her rockstar PT moments that made me so proud? One of her tender loving sweet hugs? One of her cuddled up on me or next to me, sound asleep? One of her watching the animals at Sea World on her birthday completely and totally captivated by them?
So hard to choose . . . but I did, and here it is:
Sam's First Christmas, 2008
I love this picture because I think it was one of the first we captured of Sam and I just gazing lovingly at each other and smiling. And it captures that sort of oogly googly love shared between mama and child. I LOVE this picture. My dreams for her on that day were so so big. My heart was so full of love. My first Christmas as a mama. Her mama. My first time being "Santa." What a day. What a wonderful wonderful day.
And if you look closely, you'll see Sammie B has a HUGE band-aid on her tiny tiny finger. Because that morning, when clipping her nails (a scary task for new mamas), I clipped too far down and it bled. She cried. I cried even more. I felt like such an imperfect mother! But we wrapped her wound in a band-aid and went on with our Christmas.
In looking at this picture and thinking back to this day, I also realize how far we've all come as a family . . . and reflect on our journey since this day. This picture was taken before I even knew what a pedicatric PT did, or what "gross motor delays" really even meant, and certainly before we knew we'd go through an eye surgery, so many specialists appointments, so many weekly therapy appointments, and the worry and wonder we've had.
On the day this picture was taken, we'd known Sammie B for exactly 3 months--we were just rookie parents. Still learning just who our little girl was. What her cries meant. What would make her smile and laugh. It seems so long ago. Because now, we just know her. So very very well. And it feels so fabulous. And, though I probably couldn't have though it possible on that day . . . today my heart is even more full of love for her. My dreams for her are just as big as they were that day. That won't ever change. And I've learned so very much about myself as a parent and person since that day. I've learned that I have the ability to love someone so much it hurts. For my heart to rise and fall with that other little being. To worry so intensely I think my heart will explode. To hear the sound of another little creature's giggle and have my heart just soar with happiness. To have her reach for me, and to feel like I'm literally going to melt into a puddle on the floor. That's what she does to me.
I've also learned that I'm more patient than I ever knew possible, and that my only job as a parent is to do everything possible to enable my little girl to be her best self . . . and that only she can define that "best self" for me. That I can't write her story; only she can, but that I'm so very very lucky to be a part of that story. That magical story.
Her magical smile -- captured on this day, is still just as magical, and my love for her (and hers for me!) is just as oogly googly warm and fuzzy as it was that day.
And, I'm still an imperfect mother (Sam's eaten more chicken nuggets for dinner than I care to admit), but I now know "perfect" mother isn't the goal. I wake up everyday and strive to be the best mother I can be, hoping beyond hope that I while I may never be a perfect mother, that I can be the mother THIS little girl needs, and to enable her to be the best Sammie B she can be.
I love her. Oogly Googly Words Can't Even Describe It Kind of Love Her.