Therefore, In honor of my son celebrating his VERY FIRST birthday and my VERY FIRST Mommyversary (or Mamiversario), I am presenting today's Top Five Friday topic--
5. TRY NEW THINGS. A couple of days ago, I gave my son a slice of lime to bite down on. He happily sunk his two little teeth into the juicy part of the fruit and subsequently puckered his mouth and trembled. My friend said I was being mean. Mean?! I love limes, and I want my son to love them too. So what did Equis do next? He went in for another bite! I think it is important to take a lesson from babies who are willing to try new foods and are brave enough to learn how to roll over, crawl, and walk and remind myself that it is better to try new things than to live my life without courage.
4. BE OBSERVANT. When Equis and I travel down the street, he is usually leaning forward in his stroller, with his small hands grasping the stroller seat, while excitedly twisting his neck in all different directions in an attempt to soak in everything he sees. He smiles at strangers, tries to pet passing dogs, reaches for leaves and babbles at squirrels. The observant way in which he lives his life, even at home (tasting, touching, smelling everything from the dog biscuit to the leather couch) reminds me of the importance of paying attention to the world around me. How else can I learn about the world if I show no interest in it?
3. TIME IS PRECIOUS. During my elementary school years of age, I could not understand why adults would stare at me in awe while exclaiming to my mother, "Time goes SO FAST!" So what if I had grown taller, thinner, smarter or crooked teeth? I was just me, and That's that, I would think to myself. What was the big deal? However, after experiencing the difficulties and joys of nurturing a child within me, after giving birth to Equis and while watching him master new toys, eat solid foods and try to walk, I feel differently about time. I now understand what the big deal is, especially since my Grandfather passed away when Equis was just seven months old. The physical, mental and emotional development of children (they are real people!) represents the range of life (and the speed with which it passes) to their older counterparts who are then faced with their mortality. My son and the changes he's experienced in his one year of existence remind me of the capability of people to significantly grow over the years of a lifetime and the importance of respecting that time.
2. LAUGH UNSPARINGLY, BUT CRY AS NEEDED. Equis laughs at almost anything: the way I gargle water after brushing my teeth, the way the dog skids away from him when he chases her in his walker, the way the plastic balls sound as they roll around in his toy. His laughter is contagious. But when he is mad (because I took that toy away or Roxy no longer wants to play), or hungry or hurt (I hate when he gets hurt!), he will open his mouth wide to let out a wail and big bright tears will flow from his eyes. His smile is a reminder that I too can find joy in the smallest happenings; but his cry is a reminder too that sometimes I just need to free up my tears when I feel hurt or angry or have a need that needs to be addressed. It is good to find the joy in life, but it is also good to acknowledge the pain that is inevitable in order to move past it.
1. LIFE IS MAJESTIC, or EACH PERSON IS A MIRACLE. As Doctor Manhattan states in my favorite DC Comics graphic novel - Alan Moore's Watchmen - the creation of an individual person is a miracle and ought to be regarded as such. When Dr. Manhattan reflects on the revelation that the man who once sexually assaulted Laurie's mother is Laurie's father, he finally acknowledges the value of human life. He tells Laurie that the processes by which individual people are created are like "Thermodynamic miracles... events with odds against so astronomical they're effectively impossible, like oxygen spontaneously becoming gold." He then explains,
I am grateful to have spent an ENTIRE YEAR being a mother to a beautiful baby boy who causes me to laugh and learn; and I am excited to see what Equis will teach me in the next twelve months of his life. Happy Birthday, Baby Equis. Te quiero tanto.