Great Expectations: Mama and the City

Nadia Venus is behind Mama and the City, a blog about the juggling act of being a mom with one chiquita, a full-time professional and a photography hobbyist. In addition to sharing her observations from around the city, she discusses her family, which has fostered a special comfort writing about her mother and the experience of growing up with a parent who has Bipolar Manic Disorder. But it’s not all drama, this Mexican is always — siempre — on the hunt for a great taco.
Starting Sept 2, and every first Monday of the month, come and join Nadia for #WhyFakeItJustMakeIt, a recipe link-up party to share (and find) decadent recipes.
Thanks for joining me here, Nadia!
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While You Still Love Me

 Querida princesa,

You are almost three. To me, you are still small. But when I look back at all those baby photos, I’m stunned at how fast time passes. You were so tiny, and beautiful, and perfect. I need to get better at appreciating you while you still love me.

Every week you are getting more vocal. I don’t pretend to take credit for that, considering you started going to daycare when I returned to work. Someone else had the luxury of seeing your face light up with new ideas, of watching your reactions when you tried new things. Someone else put in the time to teach you new words, and to listen to you repeat them, over and over, until you got them right. I won’t take credit for these things, and I’m okay with that.

I can’t believe you are almost three.

From week to week — sometimes from day to day — I see changes. You show better coordination, and you are able to execute tasks more successfully. You are becoming more independent. You are needing less and less of my presence, but when you want my attention you demand it: to acknowledge success, rather than to provide help. It gets annoying sometimes, especially when you talk over an adult conversation, but your screams of “Mommy, LOOK AT ME!” are like tacos to me. I will never tire of them.

So, I hug you. And you hug me back… Sometimes.

I say that I love you. I ask you to reciprocate, to build a habit of this loving connection. But mostly, I want to hear the words, “I love you mommy” from your perfect little mouth.

And I squeeze you one more time, because a hug and a word will never express the intensity of what I really feel for you. I could hold you for a thousand years and never fully voice that feeling.

Holy crap. You are almost three.

I am afraid. I’m afraid of you finding my love and my words embarrassing, sooner than I expect it. I don’t mean embarrassed in front of friends, I mean when it’s only you and me. I know it’s coming. I know it’s part of you growing up. And I know it will break my heart.

To be honest, I’m also afraid of me. Afraid of losing my patience and trust in you as you go through life and experience emotional changes. After all, you are expected to morph. I did it and it was hard. I’m afraid of losing the connection we share now. I’m afraid of missing your love.

These things, though, are visions in the distant future. For now, mi vida, you are almost three. So small, so beautiful, so perfect.

All I can do is continue to hug you, to squeeze you, to love you. I’m hoping that by preaching how much I love you and how often you need to say it back to me I am able to tattoo this onto your heart and engrave it onto your soul. Because one day you will cross that fine line where you realize it is time to stop being mama’s little girl. It will be time to grow, time to fly away and be yourself. Until then, you are mine to care for, to hold and to love, and you will teach me to be a better recipient. All while you still love me.

– Mommy

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45 Responses to Great Expectations: Mama and the City

  1. Alison says:

    I know the feeling of "when are they going to stop loving us openly as they do now?" It'd come sooner than we like, so yes, hold on to those moments tightly. Lovely to see you here, Nadia.

    • I am holding on Alison. It's a freaking roller-coaster and I do want to enjoy the ride. I do.

      And I wouldn't have never passed the chance to be over at Greta's. Who doesn't love her!?

  2. Co-Pilot Mom says:

    Time does go so fast, doesn't it? Before we know what happens, they are walking ahead of us when it seems that only yesterday they were holding our hands. But so far I am discovering the love is still there – they just show it differently as they grow. 🙂

    • Time flies. 🙁 and this age is so full with curiosity and wonder, it's magical. Is it too bad I don't want her to change? Is it too bad I want her to keep showing me her love in the same way? *sobbing*

  3. Laura says:

    3 is such a wonderful age! … it is TOUGH, but it is wonderful. Especially the conversation parts of it! 🙂 Enjoy three. Savour it. She still has a long way to go before she grows all the way up.

  4. sharilyn says:

    While every age is amazing- 3 was especially good- my girl still loved to snuggle- still just in between baby and kid- she is 4 now- more kid than baby!

  5. momentsinmommyland says:

    So sweet! Our time with our babies is so precious!

  6. Robin says:

    So much of this breaks my heart. You're a wonderful mom and I hope you'll always have those beautiful bonds.

  7. I felt exactly the same as you did. But my girls are older now (teens) and I want to tell you that it will be awesome! If you focus on creating the close and loving relationship you want, you will get that. My girls and I are very close, and we have an amazing relationship. I have loved every stage that they went through growing up. Each age was different, but they were all great. And I'm not the only one! I know so many other parents with older kids who would say the same thing. Don't worry, whatever you are losing as they change will be replaced with something different but equally great. My 5'10' volleyball player 15 year old will be over here in a few minutes to give me a hug before bed – it's a giant hug, not a sweet little one, but it still feels great. Your daughter is lucky to have a mom like you and there are so many great things ahead. Just know that.

  8. rajthandhi says:

    So beautifully written Nadia – I know that feeling.. they grow up much too quickly! Hug them tight:)

    Raj
    Pink Chai Style

  9. ramblingmomma says:

    I am so thankful that at 10 yrs, she still tells me she loves me, that makes me proud

  10. I think Dani naiiled it with her reply. I also have older kids and the love just gets stronger. It's a different kind of love for sure. They're not cute and cuddly but they become amazing young people and our relationships can flourish into something equally special. Enjoy the ride:)

  11. What a beautiful post Nadia, hugs to you!

  12. Tonya says:

    Hold on tight, it goes by WAY too fast!!

  13. Randa says:

    They grow up too fast. It's a little heartbreaking.

  14. Janelle says:

    I'm looking forward to having a child so much, but I know I have a lot to prepare for. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Such a moving post, Nadia! They do grow up way too fast, and all you can do is savor every moment – good or bad – because the day does come when you want them all back – good or bad! My daughter is off to university, and I still remember her first day of kindergarten… xo Sheila

  16. Rorybore says:

    how lovely and moving Nadia! yep – just keep on loving on them as much as you can. it will imprint on their hearts and little souls. No matter the hard and bad days ahead, love will always cover over many wrongs.

  17. mitzi says:

    very touching Nadia. i share the exact same sentiment.

  18. Salma says:

    That's so beautiful Nadia, it's almost like poetry.

  19. Heather says:

    So many beautiful words. Three is my favorite age and my littlest is approaching it soon – I'm afraid of being heartbroken when that time has passed. I used to be afraid of losing myself too, writing has helped a lot with that.

  20. Laurie says:

    Hi Nadia, beautifully written, so true, the fear of the unknown is the worst fear. That's why it's so very important to live in the here, in the now! <3 My baby is 23, his hugs today are better than they were when he was 3, even though that is true, I still miss his little face and the thrill of watching life through his little eyes! Thank-you for sharing! xo

  21. mara says:

    Sweet. I love writing love letters to my kids on my blog. They are teenagers, so they don't love the letters now. But, they will later.