“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.
You heart bays to the double crescent moons of closed lashes on her cheeks. She’s the one you can’t put down.”
My friend Erinsent me that quote and I when I read it I immediately need to reach for some tissues. How can you not? It’s so beautifully expressed-exactly how I feel about Janey.
The last two weeks have been fussy-fussy by Janey’s standards which are pretty good standards. Lots of waking-quick naps-lots of nursing, lots of carrying around-me using one hand to make a sandwich, do the laundry, get dressed. I look at what I need to get done and can only look-which gets frustrating sometimes, but not many times. Years and years ago, it would have frustrated me so much more-now I think, “Oh what the heck, I’ll get to it another day.” I make schedules and lists, thinking it will help me “catch up” only to rip them down and pitch them days later. It doesn’t matter. Really, it doesn’t. Babies are so important-sure, there are other important things in life, but not much else. Not much else at all.
It’s such a little minuscule bit of our lives that we have these little tiny ones-and such crucial years for them. Some say the most important years and I believe them. What can compare? If I live to 100-and I’m planning on it-that’s six years for my each of my babies that I’ve spent nursing and shushing and bouncing-even if you doubled that to include the next intense year of baby care, it’s about 10% of my life. 10% for my babies-to hold, to cuddle, to soothe, to love tenderly. I wouldn’t trade that tiny bit-this precious gift of minutes and hours and days and months-for anything.
I learned quickly with my first, being amazed at how quickly a year, then another, and another-all eighteen of them-can come and go, that I want to do anything but rush this stage-or push it to the sidelines, or be frustrated by my inability to meet the demands of the outside world that is calling me away to do trivial things, or be distracted and occupied by life in general. I do not want to forget to cherish these sweet baby moments-while time flies.