Monday, May 9, 2011

Bittersweet Milestones

On Sunday Reese took her first steps. (Yes, on Mother's Day. What a great gift!) We were picnicking at the park when she stood up and took about 5 steps toward Matt. I yelled, "Oh my gosh! She's walking!" and everyone in earshot turned to watch. A few people started clapping. Then she clapped for herself. What a happy moment, right? Well, yes and no. The past year has been filled with one exciting first after another, and while I feel so much joy and pride as I watch her grow and gain independence, I can't ignore the sting in my heart that comes from knowing that she is also growing up and gaining independence from me.

It all started the day she was born. I was so excited to go in for our induction but there was a tiny part of me that was sad for the end of pregnancy, sad for the end of this phase of her life. From that day on, it was one bittersweet milestone after another. There have been happy firsts like sitting and crawling and first words. There have been sad firsts like the first time she tried to squirm out of my arms to go play or the first time I had to say "no no." And there have been a lot of happy beginnings accompanied by sad ends. I was happy when she slept in her crib, but I was sad that she didn't need to be close to me at night anymore. I was happy when she ate solid food, but I was sad that I was no longer the only one providing her nutrition. I was happy when she started using a sippy cup, but I was sad when she nursed for the last time. And now, I am happy that she is walking, but I am sad that soon she won't want to be carried anymore. Most of all, I'm sad that somehow my newborn baby became an infant and that infant became a toddler, and I hardly blinked in between!

Sometimes I wonder if it's normal to feel sadness at such happy events in my child's life. I should be thankful that she is happy and healthy and doing the right things at the right times in her development. But just because I'm sad, doesn't mean I'm not also happy and excited and thankful. That's why I can't describe these moments as anything but "bittersweet." I'm excited for the start of the next phase but I'm sad for the end of this one. I'm happy to be celebrating these moments but I'm sad that they are coming and going so quickly. And even though I'm sad when they're over, I'm thankful for the memories we're making along the way. With Reese's first birthday just around the corner (less than 3 weeks away), I am preparing my heart for another collision of conflicting emotions as my baby approaches the next of many bittersweet milestones.

(On a quick side note: If you would like to receive updates on new posts through email, simply enter your email address in the bar at the top right hand side of this page (where it says, "Follow by Email"). I also want to extend a huge thank you to those who are reading and/or following. I have been excited and honored by the incredible support from my family and friends. Thank you for your encouragement and inspiration).


  1. HI Lisa! You were my RA back in the day :) I found your blog on facebook- you are such a talented writer! Your journey as a mom has been incredible - when my husband and I start a family, I'm sure I'll be reflecting back on your stories :) All our love and support to you and your family!

  2. Hey, Laura! I definitely remember you because I remember all of your tri-athlete stuff. From what I see on FB, it looks like you are still into that, which is awesome! Thank you for your comment. I'm looking forward to having you as a reader. This blog has reconnected me with so many people from my past. It's been great. I hope all is well with you. Keep in touch!