It is amazing to think how one person can change your life so much, especially when they come to you completely dependent, completely needing you. It becomes impossible to remain within yourself, focused entirely on yourself. Babies force you to think of someone else first, disregarding if you are tired, or sick, or just "not in the mood."
1 Year OldCertainly marrying another person invites such a selfless focus, but it doesn't demand it the way a baby does. Most of the time, another adult can take care of themselves. This is one of the reasons that children really become a significant instrument in a mother's salvation. They ask you (or drag you) into selflessness.
2 Years OldWhen they make a mess, they draw you into patience. When they need attention, they ask you for a spring of compassion. When they are irritable, tired or teething, they beg your understanding. And when you have no energy left to be upset over the toys scattered or the refusal to do homework, they encourage a much broader perspective on life and just what is important and just what really is worth fighting for. They foster virtue in ways unlike anything else I've ever seen.
3 Years Old
But children do more than that for a mother's spirit. Now, admittedly when you are crunching Cheerios under your feed and find a dirty diaper unlatched on the floor are are just praying that is chocolate on those little hands, it isn't as easy but there are times when you only need to look at that cherubic face to see God looking back at you. Sometimes He even speaks to us through our children.
4 Years OldLooking back over 5 years of laughs, hugs, kisses, smiles, tickles, tears, puzzles, games, coloring, peek-a-boo, blocks, and prayers with Cecilia, my cup overflows. She is such a blessing to me and such a blessing to our family. She has grown so beautifully and I look forward with great joy to seeing how she grows and matures over the next 5 years.
5 years Old
A Happy Blessed Birthday, My Darling Sweet Cecilia Bernadette!