We made it.
On one hand, it’s crazy to think it’s been a whole year since the day Little Shot entered this world, and on the other hand, it’s hard to imagine my life before then.
So, what have I learnt in this first magical year of motherhood? Well, I’ve learnt to expect the unexpected. That every day brings its own new set of challenges, and that the best I can do is go with the flow, and take life as it comes.
I’ve learnt that every mother/ child relationship is totally different, and it’s impossible to define what it means to be a “good mum”; all you can do is your very best.
I’ve learnt to be organized and punctual – it’s no good showing up late to playgroup and forgetting to bring a spare change of clothes.
I’ve learnt about my own strength. The kind of strength I didn’t know I had in me. I’ve learnt about growth, both in myself, and in the life I’ve created. I’ve learnt what true love and happiness feels like. And I’ve learnt to be comfortable with that.
I’ve learnt how to fold a cloth nappy. I’ve learnt how to dress a burn. I’ve learnt how to swaddle. I’ve learnt how to comfort someone who is upset, and wants nothing more in the world than to be in my arms. I’ve learnt all the words to Te Aroha and the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song. I’ve learnt the unique secret language of my child; from the way his hand turns outwards or how he rubs his ear when he’s about to fall asleep, to the exact tone of his cry when he’s hungry.
Without this sounding too soppy, as I’m aware some of you will be getting pretty sick of this mummy – talk, I feel like our bond has strengthened over the year, and I am now closer to him than anyone else in this world. That’s because there is a part of me in him. And from a Christian point of view, this is what has helped me to understand my faith; there is a part of my God in me, and that is why He loves me unconditionally, and why He wants to be close to me. I am beginning to realize why a lot of Christians I meet are so full of life and love, and why Christianity feels right for me. For a long time I was in search of true love, and now it has found me all at once.
As much as it frustrates me having to chase around a danger – obsessed mini human who has just discovered the ability to walk, and having to constantly watch him with hawk eyes which have grown in the back of my head, and even though I’m well and truly over the daily tantrums and wiping food off the walls, it’s safe to say I have never been so in love in my life.
I thank God every day for the blessing whom I am honored to call my son. I can see now that this is one of the greatest lessons I will learn – to nurture and to protect. To love myself, and others, unconditionally. To trust. And to try to understand the extent of just how much I am loved. How much we are all capable of loving, and of being loved.
If everyone were to realize that, I know the world would be the way it should be.
Anyway, enough of this deep and meaningful carry on.
For Little Shot’s first birthday we decided to celebrate Mexican – style. We dressed our little birthday boy up in a poncho, a sombrero, and I even drew him a little mustache. The cuteness was almost unbearable.
I lay out the table with taco – making ingredients, including homemade guacamole, salsa and a scrummy bean dip a friend brought, and I made a centerpiece from our two cacti, (one wearing a miniature sombrero). I put together some bright flowers in an old re-fried beans can for a finishing touch, and scattered crepe – paper confetti around the center.
I made a bunting to hang along the ceiling with “UNO” carefully hand – printed across the middle, and strung up matching balloons, giant pom poms and tassels along the table.
To top it all off we had a Mexican playlist. It was a really awesome little party and Little Shot had so much fun dancing, playing with his new toys, balloons and bubbles around family and friends. He overdosed on cupcakes and his chocolate cactus cake, which had “Feliz Cumpleaños” written along the side in icing. By the end of it he was pooped and went to bed for the best nap of his life.
If you’re planning a kid’s party anytime soon, I’d definitely recommend Mexican theme. Piñata and all. It was so much fun, the food was healthy and delicious, and it was super cheap and easy to throw together too – all you need is a little creativity, a dollar store handy, and then fiesta like there’s no mañana!
What a crazy, amazing year it has been. The best of my life, by far. Here’s to many more exciting adventures to come. Thank you for following this chapter of our story and supporting me in the journey of motherhood.