Oh my goodness. I blinked and a year went by. One year ago on August 6th, little Mary Katherine came into our world. We didn’t know what we were having and the moment we saw her our lives changed forever. Then I told Rock that girls are super fun to buy clothes for (which is totally true!).
Mary has changed our lives in so many ways. At first, I thought we would never sleep again. Then she started smiling, and crawling, walking, and talking. It really does get better!
I often hear people say that they didn’t realize how selfish they were before they had a child. I have to disagree. I believe that you are meant to enjoy time doing things for and learning about yourself. The same is true that you need to spend time living with roommates, living on your own, and then living with a partner or spouse. Each of those steps in life changes you and makes you appreciate the next one.
Before we had Mary, my husband and I could procrastinate all morning and then pop out of the house on a whim to go for a run. It was fun. There were times when we argued about the other’s pace, or loud breathing, or preferred routes.
When I was pregnant with Mary, I was the one whose pace slowed. I was okay with it, but it changed the dynamics of our running. Rock did his run and I did mine. Sometimes we ran similar routes. Sometimes we did our own thing.
I loved running while pregnant. It of course kept me fit. But I felt like it was a special one-on-one time that I had with my little one. I didn’t want to over exert myself, so I used my conversation pace to keep things in check. I would chat with our baby and tell them how excited I was to meet them and to someday go on runs in the stroller.
It was a time for me to prepare for what was to come. However, even with the best preparation, you can’t really “prepare.” Until you have your first child, you just never truly understand how much a baby will change your life. I still have moments where I stop and think, “Holy crap. This is 24/7. This is all about Mary and we are just living in her world!”
It is okay. I love it! It has been amazing watching this tiny little thing that was born almost a month early, grow into a big girl who is in the 90th percentile for her height. First she was crawling and then suddenly she was walking. She loves food and will eat just about anything you put in front of her, except for noodles. She eats sushi (just vegetable rolls) and any fruit or vegetable. I watched her eat 20+ blueberries at dinner last night!
Recently, we have started using the jogging stroller for much more than walking to the grocery store. We often coordinate one of her naps with a run in the stroller. Remember those times that Rock and I would argue about pacing? Running with a stroller slows you down. And it is amazing! It isn’t about the run. It is about us being able to do something we love, and together again. It’s about us doing something as a family.
From the moment Mary was born, I have continued to run. Running through pregnancy allowed me to bounce back pretty quickly, and I am super grateful for that. But what I am most grateful for is that for as long as our little girl will remember, her parents ran because they loved it. They workout because they love being healthy and they do it together. While I may never be able to fully shelter Mary from the social stigmas of “perfect bodies,” what I hope that I can do is show her how a healthy relationship between food, exercise, and how we perceive ourselves can truly work.
This has been the best, most exhausting, and rewarding year of my life. Happy Birthday Mary. Thank you for teaching me so many lessons that you never realized you ever possibly could. As I said when you were born, I am so thrilled to be known forever as “Mary’s mom.”