I've always been a lover. I love the act of loving people, things, places, experiences. My first "boyfriend" was in pre-school. It was cute, guys. Don't be like that. I love deeply and completely. I'm not trying to toot my own horn, but it's something I'm very aware of because it has shaped my life and provided me with many wonderful relationships- and also a lot of hurt from putting my entire heart on the line for people. I always thought I knew love.
I was 20 years old when I met my husband and he was (!!) 27. He was a worldly grad student working on his PhD and traveling and I a college student with a fake ID. Our relationship was long and winding and imperfect, but I had never loved anyone like I loved him. Unconditional. Maybe too much. I thought I knew love.
My mom always talked about how you don't fully understand true love until your first baby is placed in your arms. I agreed she was probably right, but I didn't know. On April 14th, 2016 my baby girl was born, and placed in my arms, and my first thought was "She looks different than I thought she would." Or something similar. I was worried that she already seemed hungry. I was wondering if she remembered my voice. I was exhausted, a little delirious, and most of all- relieved it was over and she was here. I didn't have time to feel that love my mom had always described. I know I cried. I was overwhelmed with emotion. It was surreal and I was happy to be there, but I didn't have time to sit in that feeling and experience it. I needed a sandwich, like 25 hours ago. Could someone please get me a sandwich???
I loved my daughter right away, but I fell in love with her over the next 24 months. There were very hard days and nights and times when I didn't know how I'd survive the next 8 hours on no sleep. We were alone together for much of the time with my husband's insane work schedule. We got to know each other very well. Watching her grow, develop, and learn were some of the best moments of my entire life.
Tomorrow she turns 2. Time was both the fastest and slowest it has ever been these past 2 years. I often wish I could relive it again (yes, even those moments.) I didn't appreciate it enough. I wasn't present enough. I was in survival mode for at least half of it. I can tell you that it was during those 2 years that I discovered the truest love. I'm sorry to David, my pre-school boyfriend. I'm sorry to my high school best friend. I'm sorry to my trip to Italy and to my front row ticket to see Dave Matthews. I thought I loved you so much. I do love you, but it's not the same. I'm even sorry to my husband because I love him a lot- through thick and thin love. Still the unconditional kind. But it's different love. At just 2 years old, I'm in love with a girl who keeps me on my toes, exhausts me some days, makes me laugh, makes me cry, makes me wonder how I got so lucky. She's only 2- so I can't even imagine where this love will take me. I'm so thankful to have the opportunity to find out.
Happy Birthday, Lily.