This morning I nursed you for what my heart knows is likely the last time -or close to- and I can’t explain the juxtaposition of emotions that come over me when I contemplate it long enough to let it wash over me.
In the moments when I don’t look away or grab my phone to distract me; when I don’t start thinking about what I’ll do after this or the long list of things I need to accomplish today – scratch that – want to accomplish today; but when I sit, stare and stay focused on you long enough to notice the curvature of your cheeks while you suck and the eyelashes that so perfectly resemble my own… in those moments I find joy amidst a bubbling sadness that
this moment, along with the thousands more I’ve revelled in, is fleeting.
You’re one year and two days and while on one hand I want to press the pause button so I can stay in this moment forever, I just as quickly want to press play and continue marvelling at the incredible person – miracle – that you are.
I never knew a heart could love like this, sweetheart. Truly I used to think I did. But the love that I experienced up until you were born was a mere fraction of the way my heart would explode the moment I held you in my arms. And truth is, it’s only grown with every passing minute and day.
But it’s not in the grand things that my heart feels like jumping from it’s chest.
Don’t get me wrong, I have never felt pride and adoration like I did when you coo’d back at me for the first time, sit up on your own or reach for your soother and put it in your mouth all by yourself for the first time. Or when you climbed the stairs, started to walk and then crawl days later (yes backwards! You come by that naturally. Gramps always says your daddy and I like to put the caboose before the cart. Or when you said mama as your first words on Christmas day and then num-num at high tea just weeks later! Yes, these moments I will treasure in my heart forever.
But even more so,
I live for those everyday ordinary moments in-between.
The moments when you’re just being you, nothing fancy, just growing into the lady God made you to be.
Half the time you don’t even notice me watching, but I’m there, eyes glued, soaking in every minuet morsel of the moment, bubbling over with the most intense feelings of joy all consuming me.
Like the way you carefully pick out books and lug them over for me to read to you. The way you drop your tushie in my lap with a thud and impatiently grab to turn the pages. The way you squeal with delight and lick your lips in anticipation for a smoothie. And how we’ve forfeited the right to have our own, because your persistence in teaching us to share is too adorable to fight. The way you beckon to watch Daniel Tiger and beam when he comes on the screen. The way you bob to invisible music, whether it’s in our arms or in the grocery cart. The way you laugh with your whole body and waddle with yours hands up when you walk or run.
The way you babble at the window as you watch life pass us by. And when you freely give away hugs and your kisses, even leaning to cuddle when I’m nestled head in your lap. The way you watch so attentively whenever you see something new. And are determined to try it on your own.
In these moments, my dear, I couldn’t love you more.
Because there’s nothing you could do- no grand gesture or fine accomplish – that could make you more lovable or more special than you already are.
Because you’re mine.
And there’s nothing you can do to change that!
No good or even bad can separate you from my love, my child.
Because even when you fall, when you stumble, push me away, reject me, and strike out royally or when you make a mess so unrecognizable, I’ll be right there to catch you and carry you back home.
Comfort will be my name and home will be your safe house.
No distance, no age, no time, no mistake can take your place from my table or my heart.
Because if there’s anything this love has taught me, it’s that a parents love is unconditional.