This morning, for example, I had to wake her up. And I didn't wake her up till it was almost time to go. I got ready all on my own, without having to pop in every couple minutes to check on the giggly 5-month-old who's wide awake on my bed. I got ready in about half the time it usually takes me - pleasant surprise, no? And the whole time, I was thinking, Sol's father has no idea how difficult each morning is.
Nope, he doesn't know. He will never know the planning and effort involved with getting yourself and a baby ready and out the door by 7:30 every day, with absolutely no help from another adult, and with a minimal amount of sleep. News flash, folks: it's not easy (but fortunately not impossible). I spent my morning commute grumbling about how he won't ever know how hard this has been for me. He won't know the things I've carried, the physical and emotional pain I've experienced, or the stress I endure on a daily basis.
Then I got to work. Coworker Kevin stopped in my office. While he was there, he ooh'ed and aah'ed at my wall of Sol photos. He asked me about her. I told him about Sol's two little teeth, and that she went swimming for the first time yesterday. I told him she'll be crawling before long, and he said, "pretty soon she'll be walking across the stage at her high school graduation." (I hear that at least once a day, by the way)
Kevin left my office and I was smiling, thinking about sweet, perfect little Sol. My whole attitude had changed. Sol's father will never know how hard it was to go through labor without him there, and maybe he won't know exactly how many times he's made me cry in the past year. Maybe he won't ever know the anguish I feel, each day, as my daughter grows one day older and closer to needing an explanation about how she came to be. But would it even matter to him? He's proven time and time again that he's incapable of showing integrity, loyalty, or any honorable quality. No, he won't know the hardships on my end.
But he will never know what it was like to breathe the same air that Sol breathed when she took her very first breath. He will never know my feelings of triumph as she entered the world and was placed on my chest, when I finally realized that this was the right choice. He will never know the pride I felt as I stood alone at the front of my church and handed Sol off to be baptized. He doesn't know how much or how often she eats, and he can't distinguish one cry from another. He doesn't know which pacifier she likes best, which diapers work best, or whether she likes taking a bath. He doesn't know the trick to get her to go to sleep, or the trick to get her chunky little legs out of the Bumbo seat. He doesn't know the facial expression she made the first time she tasted watermelon juice or a root beer float. He doesn't know the day she rolled over for the first time, and he doesn't know the day her first tooth showed up. He will never know her confused, "looking-into-the-sun" facial expression, and he doesn't know what makes her ROAR with laughter. He doesn't know the proud love I feel as strangers coo at her in the aisles of the grocery store. He doesn't know what it feels like to see her face light up when I pick her up from daycare. He doesn't know the features of her face, the dimples on her shoulders, or her perfect little toes. He doesn't know her.
I know all those things. I am her mom. I am her family. More than that, I am her whole world. She needs me and only me, and she knows nothing else. My friend Samantha was right: I got the best of him. I got Sol. We were made for each other.