But at the end of the first year, I got a final set of birthday pictures and a final letter. And then just silence. That was the deal. But the silence was sometimes deafening. Sometimes overwhelming. I'm not complaining, mind you. There was also some comfort in the silence. Some comfort in knowing the new peace I had found would not soon be upended by another batch of letters or pictures.
Now that I am a mommy, I am seeing first hand all the things I missed. While the letters that first year were great, the stuff that happens after that first year is equally great. And I missed all of it. The last picture I have of my birthdaughter is her sitting on a blanket in a onesie. The next time I saw her she was about to graduate high school. I missed all that in-between stuff.
I'm thankful now to be a mommy and watch my children grow. I'm thankful that each day seems to bring a new skill or a better understanding of a skill or a more thoughtful approach to some aspect of life. Maybe I'm a better mommy now because of those things.
Maybe I'm more appreciative of the little things because I missed so much the first time around.
Maybe my firstborn daughter paved the way for my current children to have an engaged mommy when otherwise I may not have been.