I didn’t make a “onemonthababy” post about Alaina and as I flipped back through my journal on her birthday this year, I found the entry I made on February 20—the day after her one month “birthday.” So, I feel like adding it now to join the other monthababy posts I made during her first year.
Alaina is one month old! Still a nice quiet, contented little soul with new smiling action, head-lifting action, and potty-peeing action. I love her SO incredibly much. I’m loving having a baby again. I do not find baby-parenting to be difficult, confusing, or frustrating. Pretty much non-stop marvelment. She feels so easy to take care of.
Alas, tis not true of my other kids lately who are exhausting, noisy, need-factories obsessed with butts and poop jokes.
Weather has been delightful lately and I walked with her down to the priestess rocks this afternoon feelings as if I was officially “presenting” her to the world/planet.
Earlier in the week, I took her outside to wait for [my friend’s] visit and I walked the labyrinth with her and also introduced her to Noah. I had profound sense of unity with her. Symbiosis. A feeling of being her whole world and she my whole world. World felt narrowed in on us and then also like I was part of some great, grand majesty. Her nestled against my chest, me protecting her and enfolding her. Nurturing her. Our twosome the whole world. “The sheltered simplicity of two people existing only for each other.” And, that is enough. All she wants is me and I can give that to her. 🙂
I also spotted this quote on a friend’s Facebook page recently and it spoke to my heart and feelings:
“A mother’s body remembers her babies–the folds of soft flesh, the softly furred scalp against her nose. Each child has its own entreaties to body and soul. It’s the last one, though, that overtakes you. I can’t dare say I loved the others less, but my first three were all babies at once, and motherhood dismayed me entirely. . . . That’s how it is with the firstborn, no matter what kind of mother you are–rich, poor, frazzled half to death or sweetly content. A first child is your own best foot forward, and how you do cheer those little feet as they strike out. You examine every turn of flesh for precocity, and crow it to the world.
But the last one: the baby who trails her scent like a flag of surrender through your life when there will be no more coming after–oh, that’s love by a different name. She is the babe you hold in your arms for an hour after she’s gone to sleep. If you put her down in the crib, she might wake up changed and fly away. So instead you rock by the window, drinking the light from her skin, breathing her exhaled dreams. Your heart bays to the double crescent moons of closed lashes on her cheeks. She’s the one you can’t put down.” ― Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible
Alaina is most likely my last baby. When we are alone together, I often spend time just staring at her. I want to memorize her. I stare at her eyelashes, her lips, her little nose, the curve of her cheek, her profile, her fuzzy hair, her little neck. I nuzzle her face with my nose and lips and sniff her all the time. Today, we went back down to the woods, and just sat there on the rocks together and I marveled at how fast time continues to pass and how she grows and grows and grows. It isn’t that I didn’t notice or appreciate or cherish my boys as babies, I did, and I have crystal clear memories of lying in bed nursing my first baby and cradling the back of his soft little head with my hand and crying as I laid there thinking about how he would be a teenager before I knew it. He isn’t gone now, of course, and he is still my “baby” forever and I cherish him today also, but that baby whose head I cradled and cried over in that moment is in fact gone and every day I feel conscious of the fact that another day of Alaina’s babyhood has passed. As I’ve noted before, there is just a sharp sweetness to this time with her that I did not experience before and I think it is the trailing flag of surrender, of a passing season, that Kingsolver references in the quote above.
I forgot that wonderful passage from B. Kingsolver’s “Poisonwood Bible” until your reminder…it is so very true. This week has been full of struggles trying to “balance” parenting my youngest, who is now a 15 years old (& seemingly unconcerned with high school’s requirements of actually turning work in!), trying to “run” a household (that one is a laugh, if you could see my dirty, crunchy, disorganized house!), & being immersed in grad school myself….I cherish the memories of loving my babies so much, that I couldn’t put them down. Listening to them breathe & dream. I still can’t “put them down”, but carry them in my heart, through their growing pains, heartaches, & sorrows. My husband, who is not their bio-father, is mystified by, & in awe of, this connection. Hard to explain unless you grew them in your own body, with your cells still intermingled with theirs…
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