So I just responded to a friend’s email where we exchanged plans and ideas for our little ones’ 1st birthdays – her son turns 1 four days before my daughter does, but we will end up celebrating on the same day (albeit on different time zones). We talk about the care with which we are planning the parties – the food, venue, décor, invitations, and guest list. In her email, she says: “How’s the birthday planning? I’m sure it’s stress-free for you since you have everything covered.”

And she’s right. Because I chose a venue that comes with practically everything we’ll need, I am not the least bit frazzled by the party itself yet. However, what stresses me out is the fact that the caterpillar will soon become a butterfly, the larva is to become a proper ladybug (and so we are dressing her up as such for her birthday). Sigh. Melodramatic much? Yes. I know. I should be feeling the opposite, as birthdays are a cause for celebration, especially hers. Don’t get me wrong, I am feeling all those emotions as befits the occasion.

I am excited.

I am giddy with joy.

I rejoice in every milestone she has met, in her every triumph. And those that are to come.

But I am also nervous.

I am also just a tad weighed down with sadness.

I. Am. Not. Ready. For. This. I am not ready for her to walk out of baby-land into toddler-hood just yet.

Oh, sure. I know there are lots of other things to look forward to – walking, talking, potty-training and all that jazz. But I am still not ready to say goodbye to her infancy.

To the days (and nights) when I could just scream into my pillow in dazed frustration because she wouldn’t stop crying and I had no freakin’ idea what to do.

To the nights I wanted to pull my hair out because she wouldn’t sleep while I, on the other hand, was ready to pass out of exhaustion.

To the times she’d stare into my eyes and I would feel like I’m all that’s important in her world, all she needs and wants.

To this phase of her complete dependence on us.

To right now, when I could pick her up easily to cuddle her whenever I want and she wouldn’t complain and squirm to get away.

To these days when she is perfectly content to have only me for company.

To our playtime when she would giggle in delight at my funny faces and not think for a minute that I’m weird.

To the early hours of the morning when she’d wake up and ask to be taken out of her crib so she could sleep beside Mommy and Daddy.

Somehow, I am comforted in the knowledge that I am not the only one who feels this way. There are plenty of other moms out there who have gone through and are going through this very same thing. But it doesn’t diminish the feeling of loss – for we are losing the precious days of this first year, where we anticipated, discovered, learned, and basked in a newfound incredible love for this child.

It’s enough to make me yearn for another baby.

Relax, hun. I ain’t going down that route just yet.

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