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tales of something simple - dear daughter

i believe

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.

all types of chaos

dear daughter

Dear daughter,

I can call you that now.  You are here and you let me know it all the time.  When I used to write to you before, you were just a you because I didn’t know if you were a little boy or a little girl.  Now I can call you my daughter.

I struggle because taking care of you and loving on you 24/7 leaves little time for sappy, lengthy blog posts.  Instead, I settle for scribbled half sentences and words in your baby book as I try and remember all the milestones you had that month,  how much you weighed at your doctor’s appointments, all the places you visited and all the things we did together.  My handwriting is very, very poor, and at best, someday you will be able to look through it and be able to appreciate that I made the effort.  When I was growing up, my mother (your grandmother) saved everything.  She remembers the most mundane of details and I can only hope to be half as thoughtful.

I am often going at 100 miles per hour, and forget to slow down.  Even when you were four days old, your father found me crying inconsolably in our den holding you.  When he asked what was wrong I said “I never counted her fingers and toes.”  I had no idea if you had a birth mark, a freckle or a club foot.  Ever since you had been born I was on autopilot changing diapers, struggling to breastfeed and watching you breathe.  I forgot that I was supposed to just sit and drink you in.  Therefore, I often find myself tapping me on the shoulder, saying “hey, don’t forget she smiled for the first time today!  Write that down!  Don’t forget she laughed today!  Record it!  Don’t forget that she slept through the night last night!  Don’t forget the doctor said she felt a tooth this afternoon!”  I can’t imagine that you will care about any of these milestones written down in neat, scrolling cursive with crafty emoticons.  However because my mother was so deliberate and careful to do these things for me I hold myself to the same high standard, like keeping your first Christmas chain (the green and red construction paper strung together like garland) and someday your first lock of hair.  To be honest, I’m not sure I’m the kind of Mom that will reminisce over each and every little detail like that because I would rather be in the moment with you, reveling in it before the moment passes.  I’d rather have days worth of stories to repeat back to you on some long road trip when your 18 and (hopefully) on your way to college and you can go “Mommmmmm, stoooppppp,” than have a box full of stuff to give you when your 30 and go “Ma, really?  I don’t have room in my house for this crap.”

So I might not save all your lost teeth.  I might not remember the exact day you laughed for the first time or what caused it.  I might not forever have the baby shower hat my friends made me with ribbons from all of your gifts.  I might not be able to preserve that fantastic, sweet, soft baby scent on all of your clothes.  I might not get all the pictures I want into frames or photos into albums in chronological order before you are 25.  I might not get to a camera in time to record your first steps.  I might not always remember to burp you after feeding you and I might not always bring the diaper bag when we leave the house.

But,

my sweet,

sweet

little darling.

I can tell you this.

I can tell you that I counted those fingers and those toes and there are five on each hand and foot.

I can tell you that you have the longest eyelashes I have ever seen.

I can tell you that your eyes light up the entire world when you smile.

I can tell you that your baby breath has the best smell.

I can tell you that you love moving mobiles and could stare out a window all day.

I can tell you that you like the bath water uncomfortably warm.

I can tell you that you can sleep in your crib all night long but refuse to nap without a warm body next to you in the day (namely me).

I can tell you that when you are really, truly in a deep sleep you spread your arms out like you are about to make a snow angel.

I can tell you that you laugh the hardest and smile the biggest when I sing rap songs that include curse words or talk in foreign accents as I try to keep you happy in grocery store aisles.

I can tell you that it is almost a guardsmen that when you get into the car you will fall asleep.

I can tell you that you are capable of fitting your entire fist in your mouth and drooling a quart of spit a day.

I can tell you that you have the most delicate, beautiful, freakishly long fingers.

I can tell you that I could clip your nails everyday and they could still sustain a wicked awesome french manicure with how fast they grow.

I can tell you that as you get older, your hair has filled in more and your eyebrows are starting to meet in the middle of your face and make me contemplate shaving it in the middle of the night (we don’t do uni brow around here, babe).

I can tell you that to date, your legs have grown out of pants before your arms in tops.

I can tell you that since you started babbling our house hasn’t had a quiet moment.

I can tell you that you have the cleanest tush around because your diaper is changed more than any other baby around (I still blame myself for you getting diaper rash at a week old).

I can tell you that sometimes I will go into your room late at night on my way to bed and I lean over your bed and I stare at you.  I watch you sleep in the glow of the hallway light and I watch your little lips (the bottom one bigger than the top, just like mine) quiver into tiny, magical smiles.

It is then that I begin to cry…

Because you are the purest, most innocent and magnificent creature I have ever seen.

And no baby book, no rubbermaid container full of handprint cut-outs and crafts and report cards, no log of your milestones, and no scrapbook

will ever,

ever,

ever be able to tell you that.

 

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