Eva did the best thing last night.
As we practiced neck strength, her standing on my legs like a prairie dog supported by my hands, she carefully observed the contrast of the bookshelf to the wall and the photos hanging framed behind me. Suddenly, her eyes found mine and her face broke into a smile as she made excited noises. I was a surprise and (for the first clear time) a recognized friend.
Every day is new here. I am a puddle.
It is raining and green through the front window and you are nursing. Normally I hold you up with a boppy pillow, it gives me two hands to work with, but today I am holding your whole weight. I want to feel how light you are, how heavy you are.
Your dad is sending videos of a perfectly clear day in Arizona where he will hike to the tallest peak. Simultaneously, thunder is rolling over our heads. We are all in some of our favorite spots and still filled with the love that lets us share our lives like this.
Almost 8 weeks old, Eva, and still I am astounded by your soft hands, the way you communicate, the gentle ebb and flow you add to my days, and the grace you give to my blunders as I learn the best way to maneuver this new role. We are both learning. These days are invaluable to me and I wouldn’t change them or trade them for anything.
I am still surprised that I am often the only one able to comfort you. I’ve never been that to anyone and I won’t be to you forever but I’m grateful for the days that you come to me and get quiet in my arms.
You have lived on this earth for 53 days yet I cannot imagine a day without you now.
imagine, you will be here for the majorty of my life and all the remainder of it. I will be here for the majority of your life and get to scoop up the rare beginning days of you.
I think a thousand times a day about how happy I am that you, specifically you, are my daughter. Eva, you are exactly everything I hoped for in a baby. You came small just like I prayed you would. You came with legs so long that when you curl them in to cuddle you seem half your size (when I see them I think of all the ways they’ll move to take you on your path). The little sounds you make delight and terrify me. This week you started just cooing seemingly to hear your own voice. The great big smile you give when I talk to you both melts me and revives me, for every hour I miss of sleep you pay in early smiles. You are delightful.
One day you may read these words and wonder if the girl you become has the same adoration from this heart. The answer, no matter what, will be yes.
Yesterday I left Birmingham after a two week stent arranged to postpone the inevitability of being a mother alone while Lane travels for a month for work.
Eva is just over 6 weeks old.
Just before leaving She developed some congestion that me worried to distraction while both sets of grandparents assisted me of the common nature of this pest in infants. My dad was an all out Saint, leaving at all hours to pick up saline solution and anything else I asked for to try and combat the mucus building up in my daughter’ she perfect nose. He was the first to successfully suction anything out and give her better rest than she’d been experiencing. He was so patient as I questioned him at every turn. I am grateful.
Flying away from my safety net of people who love Eva and I, I was more scared than I have been. This little person is totally perfect and now she’s absolutely dependant on me. One day, they say, a stuffy nose on my kid won’t drive me to total-apocalyptic- concern. One day, they say, I’ll feel more confident in my moves as a mother and not inadequate and afraid. Until then, I’ll just kiss this little stopped up nose, cuddle her little body, take her temperature a zillion times, feed her every second she’ll take it, and thank the Lord that something so perfect exists and that he is going to move the mountains so that my slow and tired feet can pass through these days.
I love snuggling your tiny little pajama clad body when you’re just waking up. You work through your long morning stretches. These include the superman, the disco, and a series of smiles and frowns as you remind all of your favorite muscles how to work again.
I love the way you look at the sunlight and the way you eat, your hand waving gracefully around as if you were the queen dining on some rarity. Or with your arm extended above your head, hand in a fist like you just won at the Olympics.
I love the quiet nights when you wake up hungry. There are so few times in my life where I have risen in those hours and the world was made up of only one room. It once was that if my eyes opened at two, my mind wandered the world and my relationships in and to it restlessly. Now you make the smallest sound and here we are, just you and I, in a time and space outside of what I knew. I am thankful for the way you focus my mind.
One day (not far away) you will be much bigger and you won’t miss these days. But I will.
yesterday we flew to Alabama. You are a natural, birdie, it must run in your veins.
Today you and I slept way in and you haven’t stopped eating since — this is your traditional response to having new people or experiences surrounding you. You were the same when guests came weeks ago. Can a person be an introvert at one month old? If so, you are one and I think it’s sweet.
This evening you played piano with granddaddy and almost accepted sleep in Mimi’s arms.
I’m here now, rocking you in the chair I was rocked to sleep in at your age, you are eating again, and falling asleep, and eating again. Your tiny hands reaching for familiarity and finding my stomach and t-shirt. It is quiet in the Alabama twilight and I didn’t know this was everything a person could want. Only your daddy is missing here.
You are just right just as you are, Eva.