The Very First Birthday…Sprint to the Finish.

“Mom,” says my oldest, Brianne….”IT’S going to be LO LO’S VERY FIRST BIRTHDAY!!!!!” (Not sure why she adds the word ‘very’ to every phrase…but it’s too cute to correct.)

Well I’m out of babies…and hoping to stay that way through this next baby bug (people I know getting pregnant everywhere!!)  All of you….keep that contagious baby fever away!!!! lol

As my 3 year old voluntarily fed her little sister spoonfuls of Cheerios this morning, I teared up reflecting on how fast it’s gone.  Quickly snapped back to breakfast time with a loud and aggravated, “MOM!!!!! LO LO IS TOUCHING ME WITH HER VERY GROSS HANDS!!!”…Oh, how fast it goes.

I”m pretty sure I tacked a good minute on to my time just meandering around the congested start of the Kelley’s Island 5K yesterday to find my husband, Dad, and 2 little girls to wave to as the race began.  As disappointed as I was in yesterday’s race time, I have to admit I cracked a smile out there  more than once.  It felt great to exchange the good luck hug with my Mom, who races 5K’s with me ever summer (and ran her best time in 2 years…go Mom!!!)

“Damn,” I thought,  “Does it feel good NOT to be pregnant…

Then to see my little about-to-be-one year old, held up high by her Daddy so she can see Mommy, start to wiggle and giggle and clap as she connects gazes with me out their running…  And my oldest, now 3, approaching a clearly disappointed post-race Mommy motioning for me to bend down to her level for something important.  Important, indeed….a giant hug (big squeezes, as they’re called in the Bucher house.) and an enthusiastic…

“You know what Mommy?  You’re the BEST Mommy EVER.  BEST MOMMY EVER.”…totally awesome.

Finding me in the race yesterday is only one of a ton of connections little Lo has started to make in the past couple of weeks leading up to her ‘Very First Birthday’.  Lauren (nicknamed Lo Lo), the baby of the family, is just not a baby anymore. First came her first…and still only…tooth.  Then came the pig tails in place of the ‘growing-out-in-a-very-weird-way baby hair that I refuse to cut.  Then she decided sitting in the sand to play with toys…and sticks…and rocks…then try to eat the rocks…and the sticks…and the sand…. was now boring.  I should be relieved I’m off “what’s in her mouth, now” retrieval duty…however she’s now making laps around my lounge chair and toddling back and forth between the chair and her stroller…testing out her balance and finding new and more interesting things to gum.

Lo making laps around my lounge chair at Soak City.

2 weeks ago she wanted nothing to do with cold water…meaning anything slightly cooler than the air.  This past week…she wants in.  It doesn’t matter if it’s hose water on the slip and slide (which happens to be a bigger hit with  her than her older sister)…she wants in it…and she wants to drink it all.  Lake, Chlorine, Hose,Bath…no preference.  And today…she sucked down Icee right out of the straw.  (Ha!  I knew you knew how to do that!  Anyone know how to make milk taste like Icee???)

Ugh…and the first steps…I mean…YAY… the first steps!!!  I forgot that The Very First Birthday means the all elusive Very First Step.  Let the back pains begin….again.

It dawned on me how similar my sprint to the finish of a race mirrors my kid’s mentality with milestones.  They just want to figure it out so they can be more independent.  I just want them to figure it out so I can move on to a new kind of back pain and give the current situation it’s well deserved respite.  However, with the second kid…it’s a “Did she just do that already?!?!?…” string full of reactions.  Sit up, crawl, stand, walk…soon I’ll be chasing down 2…most likely taking off in 2 different directions. Like I said…different kind of pain.

As fast as I want to finish my races, it’s the body of work in the previous 3 miles that I’m most proud of.   Same with my kiddos.  Lo will finally get it…that first belly crawl (backwards in Lo’s case), the first day I came in to get her in the morning to find her standing in her crib (St. Patty’s Day), and her first little steps that are happening right now…and then immediately look to me to share in her excitement.  High fives all around.

Lauren Colleen Bucher, Born on Father's Day, 6/20/10.

Quickly, that first year full of baby milestones turned into it’s own sprint to the finish.  Look at you, Lo.  You’re not a baby, anymore.  Her one toothed-pig tails sticking straight up- wobbly legged- smile say’s it all.  “Look at me, Mom.  I’m not a baby anymore.” (Or, maybe she just smiles that big because the little hair she has is pulled very tight to accomplish pig tails….)  I’m glad I choose to make a scrapbook for her first year…going through the entire process memory by memory reaffirms how quickly my Baby Lo has changed since she joined us last Father’s Day…and I’m most proud of that body of work…and ready to sit back and watch the calamity for as long as I’m blessed to.

I do want to watch little Lo Lo sprint to the finish one day…but for right now I just want her to be 1.

Happy Birthday, Lo Lo.

Happy Milestones, Everyone.

Megs

(I’m so tearing up right now…bye-bye baby stage…smile/tear.)

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