Déjà Vu All Over Again

Planning Willow’s first birthday party is taking me back, I have to say. Suddenly, I’m ordering custom treats, conceptualizing how to drape cloth to transform a room, and building slideshows. Much of this feels so familiar, and yet life is very changed from how it was when I started this blog. Being a mama is at once as beautiful and stressful as I always imagined, and so, so different.

This little one standing! It's so sweet, and a tiny bit sad.
This little one standing! Soon, she’ll take off.

I could never have anticipated how much I’d love planning my first baby’s first birthday party. I have no idea what life has in store for us — sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. Tonight I’ll go to sleep with a grateful heart, knowing that as much as things have changed since Josh and I planned our epic walk down the aisle, the most important things have remained the same.

I will always be a person who cares about color and texture, who spends time and energy figuring out how to make everyday life beautiful. Some mornings I am so busy trying to figure out how to get my little girl out the door to run our errands, that I catch a glimpse of myself in the car mirror and gasp because I’ve forgotten to apply a stitch of makeup. Other afternoons, like yesterday, I meet up with friends and am showered with compliments because I actually took five minutes to pull a dress out of my closet and put it on.

So much planning and effort went into this special day. It won't be as extravagant, but Willow's first birthday party to me feels this momentous.
So much planning and effort went into this special day. It won’t be as extravagant, but Willow’s first birthday party to me feels this momentous.

Before becoming a mom, I had a good life. Caring friends, a meaningful career, and a fantastic man by my side. I didn’t have a hole because I didn’t know there was a hole, but now that she’s here I know what was missing. A part of me felt inside that I was to become a mother one day, I’ve known it and wanted it forever. But having Willow is at once a totally new experience and a perpetual instance of deja vu, as the recently deceased Yogi Berra would say, “all over again.”

I used to picture us doing this or that, planning birthday parties, painting tiny toe nails, and then get back to my life. I remember my old self and that life like it’s right there, just inches from my grasp. Now that this new one is here, though, I’d never reach out and touch it. I’m good right where I am, with a different candy display table to plan, and a far more important little white dress to buy. God is good.

Can I get this back for a minute? I feel like I JUST took these pictures. The day is right there in my memory, next to yesterday's coffee run.
Can I get this back for a minute? I feel like I JUST took these pictures. The day is right there in my memory, next to yesterday’s coffee run.