Sarah, here we are, a week after your first birthday. Yes, I've missed your 11 month milestone and am late for this one, but here I am, finally!
I don't have as much time to do this as I'd have liked, so this might be crazy, bear with me.
A lot happened over the last two months, and it was not just about you. There's some bad news and Insha'Allah, I'm praying that it'll blow over. Please, ya Allah, let Z mama recover soon and completely.
Sarah, I got an email from babycenter today that said, 'Your toddler this week' and I wanted to cry, 'Noooo, bring back my 'Your baby this week' mails again!' Of course, what I should be saying is Alhamdulillah and masha'allah.. how you've grown, my baby! Just today your dad and I were recollecting looking at your face at your 12 week scan and it was so clear that you resembled him. Subhanallah, just a squishy little thing, barely two inches long and your face was already so distinct, subhanallah. What a miracle a human being is, I just don't see how people don't recognize the Designer...
~Reliving that day~
Sarah choochoo, a little more than a year ago, on the 11th of July, I prayed Tahajjud after years and prayed that you would be delivered early and safely and that your dad would be there in time for your birth. Just like someone said, Tahajjud IS overnight delivery of your dua, and that's exactly how it happened. The same evening, I'm talking to your Pitti aunty and I find that I'm suddenly experiencing periodic twinges, about twenty minutes apart. She chided me later for not telling her... well, I didn't want to jinx them! You were born the next morning and your daddy had flown in early that morning. Alhamdulillah, Allah ta'ala made the labour easy for me. When I called up your aunt N to tell her you were born, and she had no idea that I was in the hospital, she said, 'What?! You're saying it like you just baked a cake!' At that point, I was just so happy that I was successfully at the end of that long wait, and so naïve about what was to come!
~A little about me~
Sarah, I find that I'm drawn to your (and mine) Creator more and more. When I look at my friends and colleagues who're still working, sometimes, I feel a pang of loss or sometimes, I feel like I *should* feel some kind of loss, because sitting-on-so-many-degrees, worked so hard, no income to call my own, etc. etc. and here I am... 'sitting at home'. I often felt this way in the beginning of my maternity leave and yet, Sarah, I find that as clichéd as this statement is, 'I wouldn't have it any other way'. Really. The time I have spent with you is so precious. I found time to work on something I am (have become) really passionate about, the Qur'an and other related academic pursuits. Subhanallah, I know now that this world is like snatching at clouds, the real world is what we have to work for. We weren't created for nothing, Sarah. The past few months have been like climbing up on Maslow's scale, yes, really, Alhamdulillah. It was like Allah ta'ala knew what I was looking for and offered it all to me... Tajweed courses, my life-changing Al Huda Qur'an course, the Like A Garment course that was such an eye opener, the Tahajjud training, Alhamdulillah, I can't thank Allah ta'ala enough for these months. Your dad was away and I was with you at your grandparents' and it was the best use of my time, Alhamdulillah. In fact, I was inspired by a fellow blogger to get on to the Al Huda train, as she called it, and when you grow up, you'll know that your mom, when she decides on something, she has to have it NOW. So I went about trying to find the online courses, and there was one beginning two days later! I told you, Allah ta'ala knew what I was looking for and put it right in front of me because I was looking for it! I just hope that I won't ever forget these blessings and keep learning, Insha'Allah.
~What you're up to~
So yes, back to you. You're such a talker, my dear. Your current vocabulary is: Mamma (yes, that's me, and you keep trying out Mamma in so many inflections! Sometimes I'm in another room, and you'll keep calling out from there and I keep calling back to you. I love you!), Kya hai (when you see something new), MamMam (food/water), Daddy (just picked this up yesterday!), girgaya (you throw something on the floor and say girgaya!), aagayi (as in light aa gayi), baba and nana (still have to figure out if you mean baba and nanu). There are instances where I'm so sure you repeated exactly what I just said but I can't get you to repeat it.
You understand when we're talking about you. I was telling your daddy, how you start making blowing noises when you think something's hot and you started doing it just because you heard us. We decided your 'antenna ghoomra' just like Baba used to say about Ammaarah.
You play on your own for decent periods of time now, with strange things like rubberbands and disposable plates. You don't really care for toyish toys yet.
You stand on your own for a few minutes now, but you still think it's some kind of a game and then fall backwards. I read today that babies who're slow to roll over and crawl will generally walk later too. Seems true for you too.
You can drink from your sipper on your own now, but you prefer spilling the water all over your clothes.
And how can I forget, Sarah, your new sleeping skills are masha'allah! Just the day you turned one, you slept for 8-9 hours at a stretch! Yes! You didn't even wake up once! And the next day, you slept about 10 hours! The only problem is that you're sleeping late, but that's my fault and I'm trying to correct it. Your dad reminded me about those nights where you would wake up every 15 minutes, and I had actually forgotten all about it! Oh, those sleep-obsessed months! Alhamdulillah. Something spectacular came out of that too, the fact that I can survive on lesser sleep than I thought. Your arrival also did away with another problem I had... which I decided to one-line this way: I used to have insomnia, then I became a mom. :) Sleepless nights are a rarity now, Alhamdulillah.
You were a little hesitant when you met your daddy after a few months but now you're good friends, Alhamdulillah. It's nice to be together as a family masha'allah, but I do wish we lived closer to both sets of grandparents. No substitute for grandparents!
Other than that, well, there's the fact that you're on your first international visit and I had to bring you here all alone on the flight! That was something. There were 3 babies and you were the loudest one. You climbed up the seat and shouted at other people, I was thinking, 'Wow! Am I really here? I'm the MOTHER of a baby, and an embarrassingly loud one at that!' It took some time to digest that, really. There was an elderly uncle who had to sit between me and another auntie, and he sweetly didn't want any of that, so moved to an empty seat nearby. That was a real blessing since I could set you down on the seat beside me. Then you promptly went ahead and started teasing the calm lady beside you. When she was having her breakfast, you tried to grab things off of her tray, tried to grab her fork and spoon, and I kept trying to pull you away. Then you grabbed the fruits from my tray and offered your neighbor a piece of watermelon, that was so cute! What wasn't cute was finding out later that you sat on some fruits too and got some stains on your (oh-so-cute Nanima-got gray and red) dress.
~Your first birthday~
I didn't want to make a big deal out of your first birthday. Maybe it was being turned off by all the over-planning that I saw people on my birth board do, maybe it was the no-such-sunnah, I just wanted a simple way to celebrate and the easy way out was being here, just you, me and your daddy. Your daddy decided we had to have a cake, so we got a cute little cake from a famous bakery here. The same day we met a neighbor whose daughter is a few months older than you. I invited them to the birthday on an impulse the next day and so we had at least a few guests apart from us. You were wary as usual when you met them, but were soon entranced by the lit up candles, the balloons and all the food. (You're not a picky eater, Alhamdulillah).
We're horrible parents who're still to get you a birthday present :| I wanted to get your ears pierced but your daddy won't have it :( Oh well, Toys R Us is just a few minutes away :)
I love you, choo choo, my little cuddle-bug. I love the way you love me. Alhamdulillah.