First- many people tell you that the minute you actually have a baby you change. This seemed unbelievable to me but I now know that it is true. Literally, moments after taking care of my daughter for the first time I felt entirely different about a ton of things. The way I thought I would take care of her, raise her and who I would allow to be a part of her life prior to her actual birth are completely different from what I have in my mind now. I think part of that is instincts and another part of that is the strange happiness that overwhelms you. Ugh..its tough for me to say things like that but after spending my first day with Avery I had a change of heart about a few things. One of them was whether to let my mom meet Avery or not. For months prior to her birth I had made some black and white resolutions about my parents. Within a few hours of her birth I had changed my mind. For my mother this was a good thing...I decided that it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to allow Avery to know her grandmother...under strict guidelines and supervision of course! I realized that my mom wasn't going to actually hurt Avery. Instead, the real problem would be making sure that she showed me respect in front of my daughter...or else she would no longer be allowed in Avery's life. We haven't had this conversation yet but it is coming.
For my dad things have changed in a negative manner. I wanted so badly to have a normal relationship with him and to drive the 1 hr and 15 minutes to his house so Avery could hang out with her grandpa and grandma and uncle...but his response (or lack of) during my entire pregnancy (and life for that matter) confused me so much more now than ever before. When I felt the way I did when I met Avery I was hit in the chest so hard I couldn't control my feelings. I know Stephen felt the same way. Instantly my mind went to my dad...how could he have avoided the feelings that I was feeling for Avery..the day that I was born? I was his first kid. He went on to have another kid with my mom so he must not have been too unhappy YET. If he did feel that strong feeling...how did it go away? If he didn't feel it...why did he have more kids? Anyway- there is nothing that would keep me from Avery no matter what life brings. So I just don't see how my dad can stay out of my life the way that he does. I've sent him a letter explaining some things but I'm done making any effort to include him in my life and in Avery's.
On a more positive note...2008 was probably THE most messed up year of my life. Everything that could go wrong did....and yet the "wrong" was perfectly right. I somehow managed to quit everything I was doing at the start of the year and start doing things I never dreamed I would do. At this very moment I have no clue how life lead me to this point...and so quickly. I know there is no way I had anything to do with it. To get from where I was on 1/1/2008 to where I am now would seem impossible. I mean- how do you get from living with an ex, going to school, working a job that eats up your life to being married, having a baby, working from home and being happier than you could ever imagine? I think that is what surprises me the most. I've been working so hard for so long to achieve this happiness....and all I really had to do was stop trying so hard. In fact, I had to make choices that were not the most responsible and well-thought out in order to arrive where I am right now.
Hmm... so much changed for me in 2008. I think 2009 will be the first year that I actually live my life...