She always wanted me, no matter the time of day or night. There was no one who could soothe her like I could. I fed her, held her, and sang to her.
I kissed her cheeks incessantly.
As she gets older and becomes her own person with words and feelings, expressed quite strongly on more days than not, some might think the cuteness gets lost in the frustration of trying to figure her out. Her ambivalence about growing up is expressed in tantrums, talking back, and acting out.
It's tiring and challenging and downright hard.
But I still kiss her cheeks incessantly.
She needs me, but perhaps not in the way I expected or am yet prepared to understand. I am still drawn to her, perhaps like never before. She is even more enchanting than she was when we first met, staring up at me with her big brown eyes and pensive glare, wrapped tightly in a stiff hospital blanket.
It is amazingly more complicated to parent a child than it is to care for a baby. But this chapter with my Quinlan, the one who made me a mother, invigorates me - this new that is her growing older. I see the world in a whole new way. Fresh, untainted, and full of optimism.
This is growing up. This is parenting. This is life.