A year ago today, I brought my baby boy home after 6 long, scary days in the hospital not knowing if I’d even be around to raise him.
The morning of his birthday, last Thursday, September 7th, I woke up excited as always to greet my precious Aidan, who always seems just as excited and pleased to see me. A glorious reminder to me that each new day is truly a new gift.
He always has a big smile for me right off the bat. Always. Only now this smile sports 8 teeth!
I scooped him up like I always do but that day was different. He was a year old. We did it! We reached this milestone together and I don’t mean to boast (ok maybe I do a little) but there has been nothing remotely “hard” about this, so far. ;^D
I was warned that the first year would be challenging. That I’d lose my sleep. I’d lose my “me” time. I’d lose the closeness with my friends with no kids, as well as those that have kids who are older now because they did this a bit younger than I did.
I was warned I’d lose my figure, my identity, my career! Someone even warned me that showers were going to be tough and to forget bubble baths!! WHAT?!
In ALL of the warnings, there has not been one bit of truth. Granted, I lucked out and Aidan has been a sleeper from day one. So that I will indeed chalk up to great good fortune and hopefully also how bonded and safe Aidan feels with me.
But the rest...?
Wow, were those warnings so wrong. What I wasn't warned about that actually DID happen was this:
-My heart bursting open in a way that has shattered the foundation of my being and what I thought to be my “identity.”
-A love that has shattered and reconstructed my understanding of profound and selfless love.
-My sleep is more peaceful than it has been in years, if not most of my life.
-My bath time is now filled with laughter as this little fella splashes and squeals next to me while I blow suds in his face.
-My friends with older kids have been my best teachers, confidantes and supporters.
-My friends with no kids have become instant aunts and uncles who love this boy almost as much as I do and vice versa.
-My career has so much more meaning to me than what I dreamed of it being and meaning when I started.
-I’ve instinctively cut from it what doesn't work.
-In one short year, Aidan has taken 22 "no-cry" flights and has been the most amazing travel companion. He has more stamps on his passport now than I did in my first 30+ years of life!
All of this mom-bragging aside, I write this mostly to say thank you for the dear friends (you know who you are) and some of my close family members who have been with me every step of the way on this journey. They all knew first-hand my fear and resistance to what became the most amazing gift I’ve ever gotten in this life. The most incredible love and joy.
To all of you mothers out there, I salute you. And to all of you non-mothers out there...well, Buddha says that ALL living beings are, because at one point or another in our endless cycle of life they have been, our Kind Mothers. So, I salute you just as much!
Motherhood is certainly not for everyone and that’s just as beautiful. But surprisingly for me in this first year it has been truly beautiful.
Aidan and I have one last tour this year heading back to The Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland! By now, he’s practically an expert on these 3 particular countries and has already made many friends!
We will take the rest of the year off after this. The new album, which I recorded in Memphis, will be shared first on PledgeMusic, for all of you whose support made it possible and then it will be officially released in early 2018. From there, we will go see our friends in the Midwest and West Coast of the USA, Germany, Denmark and continue to expand our horizons throughout the US and Europe.
We can't wait to meet you together on this journey and share the music, the experience and celebrate the universal truth that LOVE LIVES ON! I also have shows in Denton TX, Bethlehem and Reading PA and Tarrytown NY coming up so I hope to see you there! As always check my tour dates by clicking here.
Meanwhile, I hope you’ll enjoy some birthday party photos. "Rainbow" was the theme as in Buddhist teachings, rainbows are a beautiful example of how everything is mere perception. Especially, the "self" we normally perceive. Therefore, we can BE the rainbow rather than chase it and be free to let our true colors shine, unobstructed!
So, “Shine, Shine, Shine Let It Shine!"
Much Love and Gratitude,
Dana and Aidan