Aveline’s first Birthday
“The whole day today we feel like children on Christmas Eve, expecting something, with a heightened mood, trying to distract ourselves from The Topic but all the talks here are still about it,” – that’s what I wrote in my notebook a little longer than a year ago, exactly on my due date. Three days later, Aveline was born. Five more days later, a text in a shaky handwriting and full of exclamation marks followed, and it starts like this: “You and your father are lying next to me, facing each other, and my whole world, my endless happiness, all my emotions, aspirations and desires are concentrated in this particular bed.”
In just one year that passed by I have become a more mature and more self-secured person, the father of my child and I have come even closer to each other and – the most important point – I started perceiving the essence of life. This last statement might sound somewhat poetic. Before I became a mother, I could tell you life was the most valuable thing one possessed. However it is only now that I realize WHY it is so important. We all are born to develop and thrive, and, by doing so, to spread love to others. Love is what I feel most intensely nowadays, and it extends not only to Aveline and my family but also to other living creatures. Motherhood is to thank for that.
I won’t be the first mother to say how fast this year flew by. But it really did, and I have to say, it felt like the most important year of my life so far. It is strange to realize that I will probably always remember of it more than of any other year before. Each of Aveline’s changes in the face or body, new learned skills and our little events of the everyday life is now safely stored in my mind. Already now, barely a year after she was born, when I am on my own, I sometimes pull out one of those memories out of my head or my phone storage and savor that moment again. I am sure this need to do so will get even more intense with years.
After watching those videos, I also felt proud, probably more proud than ever. I was eager to notice the difference between Aveline back then and now. There is something magical in observing a human getting more mature and skillful, and at the same time to realize that you have something to do with all that.
Three weeks ago we celebrated Aveline’s first Birthday, and it was a cozy family and close friends event. We headed over to the Dutch countryside, to a place surrounded by the fast waters of a river on one side and endless green fields on the other side. Of course, in the best Russian tradition we (unintentionally) got too much food because, you know, in Russia they say: “It’s better to have leftovers than hungry guests”. Aveline, our little lover of attention, bloomed among all those people reaching out to her to give her a hug, a kiss and a present. Later in the evening, we all sat at the terrace. She couldn’t sleep so I wrapped her in a warm plaid and let her sit on my lap listening to songs around our camp fire. A perfect celebration of our perfectly imperfect year.