I remember that feeling of being completely overwhelmed when I found out I was pregnant. It’s not like we hadn’t planned it. But still, to have the doctor smile and confirm what we already knew, there was a heady feeling that drilled deep down into my soul.
What would we do with this tiny life, every single moment of the day? Did we truly know how we would manage it all? Could we give her everything she needed to turn into an amazing person and make her own mark in this world?
Nine months is a very long time to think and plan for the unknown. You anticipate everything. You learn all you can. You worry about it all. And somewhere in your mind, even the smallest of things quickly turned into monumental issues.
When the pregnancy books said eat more broccoli, I took them literally and added it to my daily diet. She however, had other thoughts in mind. I turned inward and decided to have a conversation with my yet unborn daughter. “Why are you fighting me little girl? Broccoli is good for you.” And I’d try it again. And she very firmly said no.
I took that moment to heart. If she fought me about this, what else would she fight me about? Could I do this? Could we do this?
Over and over, the worry kept coming forward, always something to ponder. Nine months is a very long time to contemplate all the things that can happen; all those things you might not be prepared for.
Yet in reality, nine months isn’t that long at all.
Just like that, it happened. And in a flash, she was here, growing and changing every day.
But it wasn’t her that did all the changing; we changed right along side of her.
Before she was here, I assumed I would be the teacher, she would be the student. But I found out very quickly that wasn’t so. She had just as much to teach me as I did her. And I really had a lot to learn.
I learned that even a small child could have the strongest of opinions. Have you ever heard a three year old declare she was a vegetarian … and mean it? She did. And she put me on a new course through life I could never have anticipated during those first nine months.
I learned toddlers know exactly what they want to wear … and what they don’t. Pink? Forget it. Tights? Not in this lifetime. And age only made her opinions stronger and more determined. “You can buy it, but I won’t wear it,” she told me on more than one occasion.
I learned that all of us, no matter how young or how old, have a deep seeded drive that is buried inside, waiting to get out. And if you watch for it, you see it and can nurture it with everything you do.
When she said, “I want to write a book.” “I have stories to tell.” I knew she meant it. So we discovered together how to make it a reality.
And stories she has told over and over again, as she changed from a curious little toddler to a vibrant young woman.
When we sat down at the table and filled out the application for college, we talked about hopes and dreams and desires. We talked about expectations and reality. We talked about how fast time goes, and in some cases, seems to stand still at the same time.
Nine months later, with an acceptance letter in hand, luggage packed, and tears in our eyes, my husband and I set off on a new adventure. We moved the boxes into her dorm room, and with a quick hug and a goodbye, we knew we’d done well. We knew she was on her way to change the world.
We figured out how to fill those days with laughter and manage every crisis that came our way. We learned how to parent, but in the process we learned a whole lot more.
We learned that life is best lived one day at a time.
Read more from Lori Osterberg on her website, Vision of Success