The text arrived in the middle of my work day. An innocent click, and it launched. And, in second. A sea of woe and excitement rose from my heart. The image was clear. Julia, lying on her back, drinking from a cup, a lime green sippy cup. And just like that, she’s growing up. (Just this morning she ripped the long, rectangular, wooden, hand-painted plaque of colorful, folksy Ethiopia angels from her bedroom wall, hung within reach of her tiny arm’s because of Julia’s new big girl bed.) Well, bigger girl bed. And now the sippy cup had landed.
It’s official I thought studying the image, she’s leaving babyhood.
Sure ,I realize of the few jobs babies have other than eating and pooping, growing is an 24/7, dedicated proposition. But as a single baby mama, there a slight, bitter coating of sadness over such highlights, the updates that come from your nanny regarding your child, your very own natural wonder.
I wanted to believe that my role as Julia’s mom was to serve as top guide, the chef introducer of all things new. Yet, as a new world voyager, like Columbus, I didn’t always arrive where I’d planned, on my schedule. As a single-baby-mama-wage earner I give and get all the glory, and all the responsibly. And as much as I would like to believe I am the Mistress of the Universe, the universe does not work on my schedule. And neither, it seems, does my daughter’s developmental progress, which often first appears, outside the office hours of 10 to 6, Saturdays and Sundays.