Things that I write for the blog come to me at odd times…of course, normally it’s late at night when I’m sitting alone for the first time of the day. As I sit here tonight I am thinking back to pre-Brittain and I am finding it quite humorous that i can’t remember what I used to do with my time. Now it seems that every single second of my day is taken. Whether it’s going to my job outside of the house, or coming home to my job inside the house, time is no longer my own. But even this exhaustion is a good exhaustion because it’s a feeling of accomplishment and meaning. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The day we celebrated Christmas with my family, my mom started talking about when Cecilia and I were little. It was no surprise that I could relate to much of what she said. More and more, I see so much my mother in me. One thing she said in particular stood out to me. She began talking about her mother (Sally, as we called her) and how supportive she was. She would always tell my mom what a good mother she was and what a great job she was doing raising us. I realized at that moment that perhaps that is one of the reasons my mom makes it a point to tell Dan and me the same thing. On a regular basis Mom will say to me, “Valerie, you are such a good mother.” And, she does the same for Dan. It’s amazing how these simple words of encouragement help us through. Knowing that someone on the outside is looking at Brittain and seeing that the work we’re doing with her and the sacrifices we’re making for her makes such a difference.
Being a performer, I believe that I’ve always cared about what other people thought of me to a certain extent. I think it would be impossible to enter competitions and go into it not caring at all how others judged you. But, I must say, that I feel this to a different level with my child. I look at Brittain every day, looking at her development, how she’s progressing…does any mother NOT do this? Even as much as I do for her and with her, at the end of the day, I still wonder if I’m doing enough. I don’t know that I will ever change in that regard. Saying this, it means a lot to me that others know the value I place on the time I spend with my child, especially the time I spend working with her and making sure she’s “on track”. In my small amounts of spare time I try to read about what I could be doing with her. I can’t help but laugh at every site. No matter what site you go to, they always have estimated timelines of what your baby might be doing at a certain age. Then, they always have a sort of “disclaimer” explaining that every child is different and not to be concerned if your own baby doesn’t follow their suggested timeline of milestones. I try to take these words to heart, but at times it’s difficult. I find myself sometimes saying, “Is she EVER going to roll over?” But, I then look at Brittain and wonder how I could ever be asking myself this. She’s so aware of her surroundings. She recognizes faces and voices that she’s heard before. She’s a happy child…and I realize that that’s a result of her life here with us. I have to look and say to myself, “We’re doing a darn good job!”
Seeing Brittain every day is certainly encouragement enough, but supportive words coming from other people definitely don’t hurt! Especially after a long day…hearing that I’m doing a good job sometimes is all it takes to make me feel like a new person. So, as much as Dan and I appreciate these words, it seems to amaze me even more when there are people who can’t help but be discouraging. Perhaps it’s the nature of who they are, but I honestly don’t understand why it’s so difficult to offer some support…and trust that we are doing everything we can and should be doing for Brittain. I’m a fairly intelligent person and right now I’m living my life for my child. No one should misunderstand that I only have her best interest in mind.
I decided the other day to write down my schedule. I wanted to actually document everything I do with Brittain when I get home from work. Well, it turns out that I didn’t even have time to do that. Between the tummy time, practicing rolling over, working on sitting up, feeling textures, singing to her, singing with her, walking around the house and pointing at photographs of people in her family, helping her continue to grasp toys, reading to her, feeding her, and then just playing…there’s not much time left over, if any at all.
It becomes apparent more and more that a child does not come with a manual. But, fortunately there’s that undeniable instinct that kicks in. I can remember wondering when I was pregnant how I was going to feel about my child. I loved her when she was in my tummy, but how was it going to be when she was actually here, in my arms? I wonder now how I could have ever wondered this. You can’t fight it. You can’t fight the need to do whatever it takes to make sure she has the best life possible…to ensure she is equipped with absolutely everything she needs in life.
Life is so different. Life is so wonderful. Life is so perfect with her in it. Saying that I’m thankful just isn’t enough. Saying that I’m blessed doesn’t cover it either.
Everything is right in the world. Life is as it should be.