My son turned 13 today.
He was my first baby. The ubiquitous 'guinea pig', the one who taught me in so many ways how to be a mom.
Here are 13 things I learned since August 7,1999:
1. It all washes off. No, really.
2. Even if you don't have a clue in what you are doing, keep in mind the baby hasn't been to this rodeo either. He won't be judgemental if it takes you three tries to put that diaper on right.
3. Your baby won't explode if they eat REAL food. Real HUMAN food. That stuff in the jars? Not human food.
4. It takes 3 days of no sleep for one to begin to questions one's sanity. (Actually, I learned this from my daughter. My son slept like an angel. An angel that led me to believe I was the Best Mom Ever. Until I had my daughter. But that's a whole 'nother story.)
5. It's all cute and fun when you have pets before you have a kid. You refer to them as your 'babies'. Then you bring that baby home and all those pets suddenly become hairy, noisy, germy animals. Amazing, really.
6. Watching nature documentaries, particularly the ones that show baby animals being hunted down by packs of hungry lions while the mother fights with all her might to protect her young become more emotionally gripping than anything Hollywood could concoct. My heart goes out to those mommas.
7. Along with #6...every child becomes 'your' child. That child on the news who is missing? It hurts your heart because...'that could be MY child'.
8. Nothing is better on a day when you are feeling fat or frumpy than a crayon drawing with 'to my beeyoutifull mommy, the best mommy ever' scrawled across the bottom. Heaven.
9. You learn the true meaning of grace. Yeah, you lose it when something gets broken or destroyed, but you still love the socks off of that kid. And thus you realize how much God loves you in the same manner.
10. Watching that first baseball game when the kids are pitching and they all want to pitch a 100 mph fast ball but have NO accuracy what so ever requires many trips to the concessions. I can't watch.
11. I'd rather be punched in the face than see someone hurt my kids' feelings.
12. My parents really WERE smart.
13. No matter how old they get, when I look at them I still see their little chubby smiles and feel those sweet kisses. I always will.