days are long, but the years are short as a parent. I haven’t connected with anything else that speaks to
me about my experience as a mother more than this statement. I think about the day he was born like
it was yesterday, about my return to work like it was this very morning. Every run feels like my first run
since having him. Every day, he looks the same, but suddenly he looks different.
I sit with him, and watch his growing understanding of the world around him. There is something to be
said about a childlike innocence. There is awe in everything he touches, emotion in every instance. We
grow to adults who learn to temper our feelings and cull our reactions, but somewhere in there,
something gets lost. Experience cultivates maturity and growth, but it can also dim the light. I can’t
exactly pinpoint where, but at some point, we start doing the bare minimum to stay alive.
I’m not great at narrating my life for him, so a lot of the time, I will turn some music on for us to listen to
as we play and go about our daily business. We’ll listen to kid’s music or the Disney station, but
sometimes I will shuffle my music. I noticed the first time I played the song, “Stay Alive” by Jose
Gonzalez that Hayes stopped what he was doing and crawl to me, bobbing his head, to give me a hug. I
thought this was a fluke, but the same thing happens, every time. He will sit, quietly, and look at me
with a giant smile on his face. I believe this is the universe, and this is my wakeup call. If I don’t open
my eyes, I’ll miss it.
One year in the blink of my eye. I don’t know who he’s going to be, but I’ll always know who he has
been. Every day feels like a new one. Every moment feels like the one I have been waiting for. This
photo was taken the day after he was born, the day that I met him. It was the last time I looked at the
sky without knowing him. I never even knew it, but every morning after this is the one for which I have
waited my whole life.