In my creative writing class in high school we were told to stay away from using cliches. Or to at least try and write them in a more creative way. Maybe cliche's are the easy way out. The older I become though, I know that they are true and even in my writing about my own life and being a mother I find myself constantly trying to put better words and understanding to the things that have always been told to me. Children grow up so quickly. I have always heard that. And when I first had Blanche I was not only wondering why people choose to have more than one of these things called "children" but how it could possibly move fast. To be honest, thinking back to even four years ago when I was graduating college feels a life time away. Getting married and having babies changes things. The other thing people always told me, Once you have a child you won't be able to imagine life without them. For a long time I could still remember. It involved sleep and warm meals and going to movies. I still remember parts of that life. Or was it someone else's and they told me about it?
When I look at these pictures, and even more so when comparing them to her first birthday, I can't believe how much Blanche has grown. I cannot believe it has been a year and at the same time only a year. I am not going to focus too much time on writing about time. If I sat down with my brother and tried to discuss it he would continue to blow my mind about what life is like outside of time. Or he would tell me theories about how all of time is happening at once and a person works themselves through all these moments. Then all of the sudden I see my whole life, Blanche's whole life, spread out like an old roll of movie film. I see all theses moments that I get to walk through and be apart of, and once I have been a part of them they are gone, or actually I am gone.
Celebrating my child's birthday is now so much more happier than celebrating my own. Being a grown up is funny and I never know what to do on my own birthday. I feel more thankful for my own mother. I want to feel loved, but I know its not like I am the child anymore. People have told me how special I am my entire life and it feels like I should know I am loved by now. But Blanche's birthday, that's a celebration. I have to celebrate because she is the best thing I have ever done. She knows she is loved, but she hasn't even lived long enough to understand what a birthday is. Blanche is living each of her days not even knowing that she is aging with each one.
Being a parent feels strange because there was never a moment when I came to accept and say yes to these feelings I have inside of me. I can see and know that Andrew has them too. There is a feeling of great love, which can be expected, but its even more than that. It is this feeling of longing. Longing for my child to be happy and loved. Not just by me but by those around her. For Blanche to know how amazing she is and that she has something to offer the world. There are all these big emotions and feelings and then I have to try and wrap it up into a two year old's birthday party. So it looks like Elmo cupcakes and stuffed animals. New blocks and little toy animals. I guess for now gifts that are on her level. I have never wanted to be the parent that spoils their child or goes way over the top for birthdays. I do understand a little bit more though on why people do. I believe that every choice I make in raising Blanche is a way to show love, but it is hard to not celebrate with sugar and presents when she turns two.
*(My mother in law hosted Blanche's party at her house and made it so special. She went to all the work while I was tired and pregnant. I also wanted to share the reason for the first two images. Some of you follow my photos on instagram, but for those that don't, there was a very special feeling in the fact that Blanche was outside in her diaper the week before, and on the day of her birthday it was rainy and cold. Blanche brought fall with her when she was born, and she continues to even all the way down in Austin, Texas. My mother and nephew Kyetin also came for a week during Blanche's birthday and these were some of my favorite photos.)