Monday, December 12, 2011

The Second Year

Person: So how’s your daughter?

Me: Oh she'll be turning 2 this Friday.

Person: Oh, is she running and climbing around the house and getting into things?

Me: pause...

Me Thinking: mental picture of a typical 2 year old versus my mental picture of Isabella

Pause again….

Response: No....

I have not really entertained Isabella’s chronological age for a long time. It just helps not thinking about where she is at and where she should be and to see that big difference in between. I have trained myself to focus on the things that she can do rather than obsessing on developmental checklists. I’d much rather get lost in the numbers, but on this particular moment, after this conversation, the numbers caught up on me… like a slap in the face.

I realized that my daughter is not really even a year old.

It’s been days since Isabella had her second birthday and I do owe this blog a post about that year that has passed. I’ve contemplated against writing something sad about her second year... but eventually I gave in... thus this blog post that I’ve procrastinated on writing.

Truth be told... it was painful for me to celebrate her second birthday.

I know, I know... there were significant developmental strides, and yes those were JOYS added to our list, but in between those strides are the long arduous wait times to see what she achieves next... and quite frankly, sometimes I feel that the wait takes its toll on me rubbing off the novelty of what she has achieved the latest.

Maybe its because they are too little to even describe or tell as a story.... mostly I think its me and my bitterness.

Yes, I still feel bitter from time to time, and with her second year, I felt it big time.

YES, she can sit and pull herself to stand, BUT all her younger counterparts are either walking, running, climbing, jumping, getting into things, making a mess around the house. While some who are even way younger already balancing while bearing weight on their legs.

YES, she's discovered toys and picks up things and shakes them like a rattle, BUT her way younger counterparts have moved past beyond the joys of rattling a toy and moved on to the musical light up ones. Even better, others have regular playmates and scheduled play-dates.

YES, she always has a ready smile for us. BUT I have yet to see a response that signifies a head shaking to tell No, or a nod, or a clap, a gesture to give something, a goodbye wave... or to just hear her call me "mama". Will she ever call me mama?


When she turned one, technically, her delays were not yet that far apart. I will often find myself looking out into the unknown future armed with hope... now at two and not even reaching the one year mark, what do I arm myself with as I look out into that big, and what seems really long, unknown future? Somewhere there my positive thinking was like a drug that gave me mood swings of denial.

But, I know that I cannot give up hope completely… because really, that’s all I really have. So, I just look out without those false glorified visions nor expectations.... Just a small stare out into the open with a soft pursed smile on my lips, because it hurts too much to hope too big.

I think there is this fine line between too much hoping and expecting and practically begging for something great to happen. Like I said, hoping too much was clouding my perception of reality.


We celebrated her day by going to the bowling alley, with the theme of "for all the developmental milestones she worked so hard on hitting one bowling pin at a time" kept in my mind... and yet I found myself silently grieving on her birthday while I bowled till my right arm hurt. It was frustrating to keep trying for a strike, or even just a spare instead of the frequent scattered pins or getting that dreaded gutter ball.

As apropos as bowling seemed as a way to celebrate her special day, I guess I need to get better at accepting that sometimes its not how the balls are thrown, not those carefully planned angles, nor the strength of your throw, nor the speed of release, nor the weight of the ball, nor the careful placement of the fingers, nor the strategic twist of the wrist, nor the graceful forward step and follow through.

Perhaps that’s just how the pins are supposed to stand, and I should get better at thinking and feeling that that's okay.

Because it will.

Because it is.

That, or, I’m just a really terrible bowler.


Now, I look at her, and I say “Kiss Nanay” and she readily leans forward for her cheek to touch my lips...  and she smiles at that moment of contact like that's the best thing ever... I just hope my heart catches up to that big silly grin on her beautiful face.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

Our second birthday is just around the corner. *sigh* I feel this weird sense about this birthday also. But that beautiful smile is amazing. And I love your hairdo post!