According to the Judaic calendar it is 5771. Happy New Year. I journal so I know just how long and just how short and just how many baby's folks I have coached into parenthood: a lot!! You all know who you are and your babies range from born today to one year ago. I will take the liberty of including my youngest grandson who just turned one in August 2010, because he has become my frame of reference for this past year as your babies will for you.
Can you remember what you were doing at this time last year? Can you remember how you started this journey and how far you and your family have come? Perhaps you journal also. It really makes a difference, so if you don't, please let me suggest my friend's Little Bundle of Journal, found at the website of the same name or go to amazon.com.
These little critters start out not ready for life outside the womb. I will reference Harvey Karp and The Happiest Baby on the Block for an explanation of why newborn humans are so immature on their birth day and for the next 12 weeks. I refer to them as "rib roasts" and that's giving them credit for being quiet and not at all cooked. They have a few reflexes and are able to hear and see. Mostly they are programmed to survive so they are always ready ( if calm ) to suck and hence eat. They move around, just like when they were in utero so, for even a second, you can't leave them anywhere they are able to fall or get into trouble ( i. e. no bumpers ).
They have a lot of bubbles that need help escaping ( both ways ) and they will grow up to trust if you never let them down this fourth trimester.
You were a greenhorn too. Even if you have other children who already were at home. Every kid in your family has very different set of parents and don't you forget it. There is a whole new skill set for brand newbies and for those parents juggling more than one child. ( Go back to my blog for parents of children about to become siblings ).
New parents of their first or subsequent kids get to make a million mistakes. Apologize, change your ways and start all over again. Children are very forgiving. Especially when it's their survival that they are preserving. Forgive yourselves and you will be the best role model that you can be for your child, who is, after all, a human too. And everything you do and think and preach, they will model, sometimes until they are teens and sometimes forever.
Anyway, I am looking back and looking forward, this 5771. I lost a job and created another. I learned to appeciate my elders by volunteering to facilitate a support group for grieving adults. I joined the "Y" ( a great organization ) and can lift a total of 6 elephants everytime I do my circuit ( thanks, Kenny ). I am a yogi now (thanks, Norma ). I am looking forward to a wonderful trip this December with my friend of longest duration ( 61 years ) and I am planning on becoming a Peace Corps volunteer by summertime. I have forgiven myself for my mistakes and asked many others to forgive me and my mistakes too. I have watched a lot of babies grow from rib roasts to walking, (almost talking), certainly thinking human beings ( thanks especially to Jake ). I marvel at the smile of recognition that little boy beams up to me with arms raised for an "uppie" and remember that this is the same human being who one year ago needed help just to burp. Now he builds block towers and looks at books. He plays in his dog's water bowl and even says dog. He says Mama and Dada and glows as he chases his big sister anywhere she goes ( he likes her toys better too ).
Take a look back and then take a look forward. Where does a year go? I am not sure, but I know that it passes very quickly and that the only way to live it is in the moment, one day at a time. Happy New Year.