I spent my first week home saying to various friends and family members, "Have you seen Emy do this?" and "You'll never guess what Emeline can do now!" only to be told that yes, they did know and had in fact been doing _______ for days/weeks. Ugh. As if I need a reminder of how absent I've been and all the moments I've felt cheated out of.
We certainly did not have a traditional bonding experience and I could write pages about how soul crushing it was to spend weeks away from her. I could write that it took months to bond with one another, or how spending more time away than with her causes me feel sweaty and anxious every time I say good-bye. But this post isn't about all that. I'll save those topics for a day when I am feeling more self-loathing and melancholy than I do at the present.
On the contrary, this post is intended to be positive and will be about all of the moments that I've had the great fortune of being present for. These moments may not be earth shattering but they were firsts for us. As my husband carefully pointed out Friday while I was pouting about not being present for her first trip to the zoo; Emeline won’t remember these events, but the "firsts" we share are the ones that I will remember. I hate to admit it when he is right, especially when I am pouting, but it's true. So in order to ensure I remember the tiny moments from this week I am going to spend a few moments writing down snippets of the moments Emeline amazed me. Feel free to stop reading here if you don't want to be subjected to a guilty mom's observations. If you choose to continue reading, let's just say you were warned about the sentimentality that follows.
Memory Snippet #1:
This kid doesn't stop moving. Every moment she is awake she is on the go. Her favorite game is to crawl away as fast as she possible can, while laughing maniacally. If I don’t follow she crawls halfway back and/or laughs louder, in case you missed the subtle clue that you were meant to follow. When I would oblige she resumed her escape until she reached her desired destination. Usually the bed or couch. She’d wait ever so patiently (for half a second) until she’d get a little boost so she could climb up. Convinced she has won, celebration would begin by letting out a sweet giggle followed quickly by a hysterical screech, Not wanting me to feel as if I'd lost, she'd reward me with a sloppy kiss on the nose with just enough bite to make my eyes water. After playing this game a few hundred times this week neither of us are the least bit tire d of it. What could possibly be more enjoyable? Although, I do need to put a stop to the bite/kiss before she draws blood.
Memory Snippet #2:
A smattering of carefully articulated babble provides background music to my days. New consonant and vowel combinations are learned daily; many of them resembling words I've just said. (Note to self: find substitute for damn.) As of today (two days shy of 11 months old) she has over a dozen words in her vocabulary. Words she uses consistently, correctly, and clearly are: hi, daddy, mama, more, book, read, kitty, doggy, milk, bye-bye, woof, moo, yeah, and bath. Her most recent words –are me, mine, no. Hmmm . . . should I be worried?
Memory Snippet #3 - She already is a little book worm. Adoring books she sleeps with a copy of Goodnight Gorilla every night. Morning begins with her sweet little voice coming over the monitor (almost always 11-13 hours later) More often than not, she is reading her book aloud to herself, flipping pages, looking at pictures, talking to the characters. Nothing makes me prouder.
Memory Snippet #4:
Tonight while I was feeding her dinner, Emy decided she’d help. I was feeding her mixed veggies and not wanting to discourage the hearty eating of vegetables, I handed her a spoon and let her dig in. The spoon was quickly abandoned once she remembered fingers are much easier to maneuver to mouth. My worry about the mess she was creating was discarded as quickly as the spoon. Her diligence in ensuring she got every bite possible from the bowl was hysterical and will provide me hours of laughter in the years to come. Especially because I caught it on video.
I could go on and on, but it’s already taken me 5 days to carve out enough time to write this post. Our entire week has been a wondrous concoction of verbs. Laughing, giggling, smooching, cuddling, chasing, climbing, crawling, exploring, learning, tumbling, napping, tickling, teasing, squealing, talking, feeding, patting, consoling, crying, loving, we’ve shared them all. At the end of the day I am left feeling exhilarated and exhausted. Like a teenager in love, I am so giddy with adoration that I can't contain myself. I have to tell somebody, usually my patient husband all about our tiny adventures. What she wore, ate, said, and did. All of this has been my main topic of conversation this week. Although I am slightly disturbed by this, I will treasure the gushiness of my words, because forget the teenager in love, I am a mother in love. Deeply and unconditionally in love. It may have taken me eleven months to put aside fear, anxiety and trauma long enough to get here but I plan on enjoying every single second.