Travel, Motherhood, and City Life with a Baby

Milo Turns One!

I can’t even believe it. My baby turned one this week. ONE! Remember this? He was so tiny. It feels like such a giant feat. We did it. We made it one whole year as parents!

I recently wrote a post about the magic of the first year, if you’re interested in reading it.

We’ve had some pretty incredible experiences this year:

we spent a few weeks last summer down the Cape in Provincetown at Matt’s uncle’s house. Milo was brand new (around 6 weeks) and it felt nice to be somewhere on vacation that was still so comfortable and familiar. We would take leisurely walks down Commercial Street, enjoy dinners outside, and we even had a few beach fires.

– the first smile, the first sounds (da da da da da), the first laugh (heart opening, soul touching), and everything in between.

– we went to North Carolina for a cousin’s wedding (Milo’s first flight)

– we visited France and Portugal, where Milo met his great-grandfather. We took many walks through the countryside. The fields, trees, and baby buds that have known me for so long. That whisper in my ear “you’re home” every time my feet land there. You know the places — where your soles of your feet and your heart finally meet? Where you can just stand still for a moment. Sharing that place and all it means to me with Milo for the first time is something I’ll never forget.

we spent Thanksgiving in Charleston, enjoyed Christmas festivities in Boston, and we celebrated my sister’s wedding on New Year’s Eve (Milo made it until 1am!)

– we went to Charleston again and Milo crashed his third wedding.

we flew around the world to Japan (we had the most amazing time), and then from Osaka to Paris to visit my grandfather another time. We slept on traditional tatami mats, and even spent a night at a Buddhist monastery high in the Japanese mountains. It’s a trip I will never forget.

It’s honestly a little hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that I now have a toddler. There’s no denying that it has been an amazing year, but it’s also had it’s fair share of challenges. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a mother. It took me a little longer than I anticipated to get pregnant, and after a devastating miscarriage in the spring of 2015, we were elated to be pregnant again with a baby boy in the fall of 2015.

I had a pretty easy pregnancy aside from the first trimester nausea and third trimester discomfort. I felt relaxed and excited, hopeful for all the good things to come as our family grew. We researched the best cribs and car seats, and took lots of notes along the way. We studied for labor and delivery, anticipating what that experience might look like, even though you can never truly anticipate how it will go.

Milo ended up coming three weeks early, and although we were physically prepared (we just needed to pick up the car seat), I definitely wasn’t emotionally prepared. I’m not sure that you can ever really be prepared, though? How can you anticipate how great this love will feel? How your heart will beat outside of your body for what feels like the first time? Add in pregnancy hormones, and it’s just an emotional roller coaster.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that this year has been so humbling. Motherhood is amazing and pure magic, but it’s also really hard. And not just the middle of the night wake-ups or the public meltdowns or the explosive diapers… but the emotional stuff. The stuff that keepsΒ youΒ up at night when everyone else is fast asleep. As a mother is born, so is this incredible responsibility, and in the beginning months, I often forgot to share the weight of that responsibility. Since last June, I’ve learned… a lot. It’s been in many ways, a slow and very transformative year. I don’t think that I’m “on the other end” but rather making my way through it. As each month passes, I feel more confident in my abilities as a mother and I understand Milo and his needs more and more.

It’s so easy to gloss over the hard, gut-wrenching, cry your eyes out part because there is so much magic. But, in my opinion, the magic isn’t lessened by admitting that it’s also terrifying andΒ can feel like too much at times. In fact, I think that like everything, the joy of being a parent is magnified by the difficult moments. Like most things in life, you feel that elation and dedication so much more intensely by saying “hey, I see you hard moments. I’m here with you. I’ll give you space to be.”

And, I’m here with you. Wherever you are on this journey.

And I’m always with my sweet Milo Bloom. Both in the amazing, sweet, perfect moments and the harder ones, too. I’ll always be your mama and your biggest fan. Happy birthday, my baby.