It does not matter that Atlas will not remember his first birthday. The decorations, the presents, the photos — they were centered around him, but they were all for me.
Turning one is not a big deal for Atlas. From the womb until now, he is constantly reaching developmental milestones. His “normal” is to grow leaps and bounds every week.
But that’s not my normal. Every year, I clarify beliefs, shift priorities, and gain insight on relationships. I evolve, albeit rather slowly.
But I have never changed so instantly, permanently, drastically, as when I became a mother. The day I become a whole new person by giving birth to a whole new person.
Today marks one year.
One year of hard work and sacrificial love.
One year of surprise at how well I can function with so little sleep.
One year of recognizing the difference between loving your child and loving parenthood.
One year of wearing nursing-friendly clothes, i.e. bras that never properly fit.
One year of traveling with more stuff than I ever thought I would bring on a plane.
One year of telling anyone who will listen how I kept Atlas’ penis intact. He was perfectly made and I want him to love every part of himself.
One year of staring at the sweetest face I have ever seen.
One year of falling so in love with this person who has never spoken an actual word to me.
One year of learning the Father’s heart is just to be with me, to love because it would be impossible for him not to love.
One year of knowing the greatest responsibility for another life, and the greatest freedom for my own.
One year of never feeling insecure about my body. Now that it has carried a child, I could only ever be grateful for it.
One year of experiencing the purest love I have ever known, giving me hope that greater love is always possible.
Happy first birthday, Atlas. Thank you for being you, making me a mother, and sharing with me the most life-changing year.