The last couple of weeks have been full of ups and downs. A week from today my baby will be a year old. Having her has been the best experience of my life. I find myself completely invested in her joys to the point where I embarrass myself in the grocery store hopping up and down while making funny noises because her giggles are so intoxicating. I extend my full empathy to her frustration and sorrows and almost find myself in tears as I nurse a bump on her head or carry her exhausted body to bed. In the words of Professor Higgins: "Her joys, her woes, her highs, her lows are second nature to me now; like breathing out and breathing in." I enjoy her more everyday and love her more as well.
Today I was reading my writings from her first month of life and it sent me into a down. Although it's pointless to desire, I wish I could go back and spend a few moments with Andrea's younger self. Fresh from heaven and warm from the protection of my body, I would hold her a little tighter, take more pictures, and breathe slower and longer. I realize that my tendency to over-analyze was the major culprit for my postpartum woes. I was so frantic to do everything by the book and correctly that I was blinded to what was really best for Andrea. It took seven months for me to learn that lesson, and while I feel more prepared for baby number two in the next couple years, I wish and wish Andrea could retrospectively benefit from my new experience. It almost seems unfair that she got me at my most raw and unseasoned state. She has such a strong little spirit; it's a comfort to me to imagine that she perhaps volunteered to be the first. The guinea pig.
Watching her mimic me is a reminder that I am her biggest example and has motivated me to work on myself. My valiant effort to be kinder, less judgmental, more forgiving, quieter, and calmer has just made me acutely aware at how often I mess up. It's discouraging. If I didn't have Paul instructing me to just let go of the past I would have buried myself in a pit of unworthiness by now. I'm realizing that forgiving others is challenging to me because I don't forgive myself. I just wish I was perfect, and I don't think I will ever be in this life.
I looked up 'perfect' in the Bible's Topical Guide and it directed me to the word 'whole'. Clicking on this word flooded me with messages from the Messiah. "Thy faith hath made thee whole." He bequeathed this promise on the physically infirm as well as the spiritually feeble, and these people experienced it in this life.
Reading this give me hope. And that brings me back up.