Two good friends of mine are expecting this summer, and a fourth third wants to get pregnant this year. It’s going to be a very good year.
I’ve been reflecting on our first year with Simone and Nadia. Mostly, I’ve been looking back and wondering whether there is anything other parents didn’t tell me that I can now tell my girlfriends. You know, the secret handshake of parenthood. Where all the baby codes are hidden. The classified information needed to navigate the first year.
A few memories bubbled up quickly.
I remember the exact moment when I realized the baby growing inside of me would have to come out.
Wondering why I was purchasing all of those baby gadgets for a child who takes up so little space.
And figuring I was not smart enough to have a child because it took me three times as long than the instructions said it would to assemble said baby gadgets.
Ah, what great memories.
Then there was the time I noticed the kid would arrive without an owner’s manual, prompting me to read every baby book within reach.
We were giddy when we brought our baby home, changing all those itty-bitty diapers — 14 times a day.
And knowing when a diaper needed to be changed because the new human in our life announced it with grimaces, contortions, and gurgles.
Those were the days.
I remember feeding the baby cereal for the first time, picking her up, extending her stomach, and then changing my shirt.
How could we forget the first time she smiled or cut a tooth?
Or those few colicky nights?
Or that first fever?
It seems like yesterday.
I’ll never forget that night she got out of her crib 15 times, and we put her back in her crib 16 times.
Or the morning we lounged in the bed knowing full well the baby was in her crib — and then heard a door creak open.
And being more excited about her first birthday than she was.
So, what would I tell my friends, these expectant mothers? What shall I say to them as they prepare for this life-changing event?
Not a darn thing. There’s no way to truly prepare. Besides, our babies figured us out long before we figured them out. All parents have to do is follow the cues. That’s what were doing — and we’re 7 years into this thing called parenthood. Other than that, you’re on your own.
Do you have any sage words for my friends?