It’s hard to believe that eight (& a half at this point) weeks ago I was excited and anxious walking into the hospital oh so ready to meet you. It feels like just yesterday and also a hundred years ago. The tiny body I cuddled on my chest has grown so her feet dangle and remind me she’s not so little anymore. The funny floppy newborn had been replaced with a stout little baby. I marvel at the changes even as I try to hang on to the images of those days flying by.
We’ve had a good while to get to know one another now, my girl. We’ve shared something like 400 meals you and I. We’ve been through a whole lot of diapers, of outfit changes, of hours together. We’ve talked, we’ve cried, we’ve cuddled and napped. My arms are accustomed to your weight (even as it seems to increase over night), I know your voice, I’ve studied your face, your hands and feet. I may not always understand what you’re trying to tell me but I do try to remember to tell you I hear you. I see you.
I notice when other people hold you they are precious about things I’ve learned to relax about. Every little noise, the weight of your head. I know things you like and don’t like, the things you protest more often than not. I have to remind myself sometimes – I know you. I have to remind other people sometimes – I am her Mama. When they think they’re being helpful with advice or wanting to do things for me. I don’t always do that reminding nicely. I feel the sting of insult and doubt in their helpfulness. And later when my stomach is churning because their words sound like you can’t do it and you aren’t good enough I have to remind myself that I’ve been doing this a little while now, and you and me we get through the hard moments just fine. I try to hear those voices that tell me you’re doing a good job instead. God sometimes sends me complete strangers to tell me that when I need it the most. I try really hard not to dismiss those words over the negative ones. I pray I’m always a positive voice for you.
Oh, my sweet love, how I wish you had a Mama that never made mistakes. That could snap her fingers when you want your bottle and it would appear warm and ready instead of those endless few minutes it takes to get it for you. That we never had to wait through long lines at the grocery store to get you home and out of the carseat. I wish I always had an instant magic touch to take away your discomfort. I will wish these things for the rest of your life. To nourish you. To protect you. To comfort you. I will always want to be better for you. That is what being your Mama means to me.
There have been countless moments in these last two months I’ve gotten lost in the ocean of love I feel when I look at you. Countless moments I’m so dang thankful and awed and overcome that you’re mine. You’re growing and changing so fast; I can’t believe how people are created and grow and become themselves. I see these bits of personality in you and I wonder what things are a phase and what things are just who you are.
Will you always be such a serious baby? You have the most intense gaze and expressive eyebrows. You’re a studier, you don’t just glance around generally, but settle your eyes on people, on things, and really seem to try and figure it all out. When you smirk, smile and babble back at these adults in your life trying to entertain you it’s a little victory for us and I love it.
Will your anger always be hard to calm? Once you get rolling with the protest cries it takes a bit of work to cool you off. Literally. You turn into a little fireball and I wonder as I work to help you ratchet back down if this is an indicator of how your temper will flare in later years.
Will all your little idiosyncrasies stick? The liking to sleep on your belly, and throwing your arms up while you do.. The way you rub your head, or flex your toes… Will I see you do these things when you’re ten and twenty and remember back to these days that I studied those movements to better understand your tiny self?
It’s hard to imagine you going off to school, driving a car, getting a job, dating (don’t mention that to dad). I know one day you’ll do all those things, and I worry over every milestone to come -from crawling to driving and every inch in-between. I hope I’m a good supporter, a champion cheerleader. I pray I don’t let my utter fear and terror of anything ever hurting you hold you back. I see you striving to get that little body of yours to move move the way you want and it makes those years seem like a blink. You’re so close to rolling over and right on its heals will come sitting, scooting, crawling, walking and running. I’m trying to prepare myself to chase you and cheer you even as I miss the baby you’ll leave behind.
It sounds like a lot for a two month old, all these things you’re on there verge of doing. But I thought each stage of this journey would last forever and you’ve already shown me that every moment is fleeting and we’re not coasting in this life together. On no, kiddo, we’re speeding and I’m just trying to take blurry pictures out the window as these moments fly by.
I lay you down to sleep and can’t wait to hold you again. I’m so excited to see who you become in another month, two, three… It’s a honor this parenting thing God has granted me. Hardest thing I’ve ever done, and most blessed gift I’ve ever received.