“Don’t compare your child to others. There’s no comparison between the sun and the moon. They shine when it’s their time.”
Even before your birth on June 27th, 2018, I have always known that this motherhood journey would be new one for me. Same milestones; just a different pace. Pretty simple concept, right? Wanting to be as honest as possible, there have certainly been times I have fought the urge to compare our journey with those of other children the same age as you. It doesn’t happen often or even last long but much like a bubble at the bottom of the ocean floor, a feeling of envy will rise to the surface occasionally.
We live in a society of comparison. I try to avoid it, but it lurks in so many places. I see the posts on social media. Proud parents (myself included) sharing the highlight reel of their children’s lives - honor roll, amazing athlete, budding artist and “go-getters” getting it done. Trust me, I will be the first to drop a post that shares the achievements of my children. I am so very proud of all you in so many different ways.
Time with you seems a little slower. Slower than I have ever known as a mother; it's usually quite the opposite. I choose to believe this was intentional. I choose to believe it was to protect my heart from my very last baby growing up. Trust me, my heart aches daily with each passing minute with all my children. Oh Rowan, how I want to bottle you up and press pause, so I may visit the kisses and snuggles whenever I choose.
I have so many moments where I see the world around us and other children the same age doing things differently. Not better, just differently and how it affects the experience the parents have. Just the simple act of telling us you are hungry or that you want “more”. That you are thirsty or tired. Such simple communication, but some we have never heard... well, not yet ;) Truth me told, I would pay anything in the world to hear “Mama” and see you look into my eyes.
Lately these days feel a bit longer in the home. Milestones seem farther and farther apart than I have ever known previously. Yet at times (not as frequent) they appear out of nowhere and time then speeds up. I have learned to not anticipate anything but to lean into the wind and trust that you are doing things just as they are supposed happen. In Rowan’s time, not mine.
You see Rowan, this breathtaking journey is not for you to learn and grow - you will do that on your own and not even blink an eye. The journey of self-discovery is all mine. It is about letting go of MY past life experiences or how I would like things to be, and to simply accept things exactly as they are. Truly accepting it.
So Rowan please know when I watch you walk - I am PROUD. When I see you climb the stairs – I am PROUD. When I see you feed yourself or your baby doll – I am PROUD. When I hear you sing and dance to “Let It Go” – I am PROUD. When I feel your soft cherub arms wrap around my neck when I ask for a hug and kiss – oh girl, yeah I am PROUD. And I one thing that is certain of, is that one day you will look me square in the eyes and say “mama”. GAH! My only request of you, is not be alarmed when I burst into tears because I will have been waiting for this moment for so, so, so long.
Some of the simplest of things that other parents take for granted, I see you work so very hard for. You have taught me patience in a way I never knew I had and the ability to celebrate alllll the things like it’s my job. All of your achievements to date have made it worth the wait. I cannot wait for what the future has in store for you - learning to walk down the steps, drinking from a cup, putting on your shoes to one day being a great student, an athlete, an artist, or simply being just Rowan – just know I WILL BE PROUD. Always.
Simply thank you for choosing me. Be patient with me; for in the end all I want to do is make YOU proud. Until then my little moonbeam, just keep on shining.
With love from your biggest fan,
Kendra Eichler is first and foremost a mother to 5 and wife to her husband, Evan. She has found a balance of family, work and play. Kendra is also the Head Coach and Owner-Operator of Workout Like A Girl Fit Camps & Eastern Shore Performance Center in Stevensville, MD. Kendra has found her passion for motivating and inspiring others to improve themselves and their lifestyles. In doing so she has become one of the Eastern Shore’s leading health and wellness experts. Kendra launched her own company, Workout Like A Girl, LLC, with the goal of creating a fun and extremely challenging environment all the while educating her athletes on clean eating, mobility, flexibility and form. Every week she motivates hundreds athletes through social media as well as her highly successful Fit Camps by creating a perfect hybrid of functional training with athlete education. For over 6 years Kendra has been named the BEST Personal Trainer at a Private Studio by the Shore Update and What's Up Magazine Eastern Shore and the WLG Fit Camp earned 4 awards naming it the BEST of the BEST of the Eastern Shore for their program, including BEST Bootcamp and BEST Weight Loss Program. As a motivator and role model, Kendra has a unique connection with her athletes that stems from her own personal journey towards a fit and active lifestyle. She is excited about what the future has in store for her family and professional life!