Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Another Milestone

Sean turns 3 tomorrow. The distance we’ve traveled in those 3 years seems incalculable.

Three years ago, I was a new mother. And honestly, not the happiest one in the world. I remember dreading coming home from the hospital with Sean because I couldn't imagine how on earth Jeff and I would take care of this helpless baby ourselves. I felt sad and overwhelmed, and very angry with myself for not feeling elated and consumed with happiness. I cried a lot those first few weeks.

One evening was particularly bleak. I had gotten up with Sean for what seemed like the 20th time that night, and as I was rocking him back to sleep, I burst into tears. All I could see ahead of me was night after night of sleeplessness, day after day of trying to soothe a crying, often-inconsolable baby. I read Anne Lamott's book Operating Instructions twice during that time; reading her account of her son's first year of life, especially the low, low points, truly helped me cope with mine.

Slowly, I emerged from that darkness, almost in tandem with Sean's development from newborn to older infant. I still feel sad that I couldn't find more joy in Sean's first few months.

I've since made up for that lack, though. (Cue upbeat music to signify change in mood.)

I don't think there are enough words in the English language to describe how much joy Sean has brought to our lives. He is an amazing boy -- sweet, funny, kind, imaginative, thoughtful, smart, and loving. Here's just one example: One of my favorite parts of the day occurs immediately after bathtime. Each night, after I wrap him in a towel, Sean gives me a big, enthusiastic hug, complete with back-patting, and says, "I love you so much, Mommy."

I am so proud to be his mother, and I can't wait to see the person he will become. This parenting journey has turned to be not so bad after all.

Happy Birthday, Seanarooney.