Friday, July 20, 2012

Lessons from Eloise

My baby girl is 11 months old tomorrow. I'm spinning out at how fast the time has gone. Are we really almost at her first birthday? I really can't believe it. 

Every day, Eloise is turning more and more into a kid and leaving the last remnants of her babyhood in her wake. She is a high speed, full throttle baby. Constantly watching, reaching, trying to work out what's going on around her. 

When people tell you your life will change when you have a baby, it's a gross understatement. It's more like my life was reborn. Not only in obvious ways (sleep deprivation! a new constant companion! body changes that are way too personal for a blog!) but in fundamental ways that I could never have imagined.

1. I'm more patient than I was before - by a long shot. Having always been someone who wants everything to happen right away, Eloise has definitely helped me to slow down and accept that somethings take longer than I'd like to happen - and even to appreciate this.

2. Unconditional love. I thought I had known it before, but the way I feel about Eloise has been with a depth of love I didn't think possible. Just thinking about things potentially happening to her sends my heart racing. The idea of her growing up and leaving me makes my eyes tear up. 

3. Tolerance of others. I'm also a very intolerant person when it comes to other people, but thanks to Eloise that has also improved a lot. It's much easier to understand now how hard everyone's life may be, and I really try to be as kind as possible to everyone, even rude people on the subway. Everyone has their own daily struggles and I'm trying to give nasty-ass people the benefit of the doubt that the day they're hideous is a day they're finding too hard to cope with. 

I'm not only looking at my baby, but also at myself, as a work in progress. I hope that as I try to teach her about life, she continues to teach me about how to live it as a kinder, gentler, better person. 

Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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