Today my little cherub turns 1 year old.
He fills me with such joy, when I hear his cheeky giggling. His current fascination is toilets. Seems to think that dropping things into the toilet is just the most hilarious thing ever.
Every morning he waits with eager anticipation, for his big brother to come bursting through the door, behaving like a tiger, or monster, or superhero, and when he sees him, he squeals with delight.
Three days ago, he took his first steps, and he's been practicing ever since.
Despite the fact that he is just the most gorgeous little boy in the whole wide world...
He has severely tested my patience at times. Between sleep issues, and colic, and excema and food intolerances, I spent much of the first 6 months in a sleep-deprived stupor.
It's fair to say that this past year has been the hardest year of my life. Everything is hard, when you are completely.utterly.exhausted, and nothing you do seems to work.
I have been tested. I have been blessed. I have been humbled. I have been strengthened. I have been pushed to "breaking point", only to discover that I didn't break.
I questioned and second-guessed myself, every step of the way.
Finally, I threw away the parenting books, and did whatever felt right. I'm learning to listen to my gut instinct, and so far, it's been spot on.
In my darkest hours, I wondered what was I supposed to learn from this? Surely there must be some lesson in it, I just wasn't "getting"?
Finally it all became clear. Very clear. There definately was a lesson for me to learn, and I definately did "get" it.
What I learnt has quite possibly changed the course of my life. I discovered my true passion. I discovered what I really, really, REALLY want to do with my life.
It was all meant to be. I see that clearly now. Every sleepless night. Every tear cried in utter frustration and despair. It was all leading me, to a certain point. But that point would have been pointless, had I not experienced all the struggles that went before it.
And so, despite the struggles (or perhaps because of the struggles) it has also been the best year of my life.
So excuse me. While I go and enjoy my precious little pumpkin with his dimply grin, and chubby cheeks and utterly kissable little arms and legs...