Craft Conspiring

Thursday, December 1, 2016


My coffee has little bubbles popping at its top after being reheated in the cafe's microwave.  I've been here for three hours completing final projects for my current class while ordering prints of pictures of our Em from my phone when the cafe's internet acts up.  A year ago today I thought, "I'll meet my baby this month."  Today, I think, "This will be my baby's second December."  It's the last week of her first days of the year, but not the last week for anything else.  There are so many firsts still to come: walking, talking {coherently}, making jokes, stating her opinions in actions rather than grunts, hair bows, and countless adventures with and without her daddy and I by her side.  I have been evaluating my feelings over the past two months leading up to this one year milestone, mainly anticipating the heartache I will feel for the loss of her first year, mainly anticipating said heartache because of the countless people who have warned me that I will feel x, y, and z when she turns one.  But our Em makes me feel something different than these expectations.  Our Em makes me feel alive.

Our Em.  She's still called and for the foreseeable future will remain, our Squish.  She started moving quickly overnight, pulling down the washcloths from our kitchen cabinets, sticking her hands in the dog's water, hiding behind the backdoor curtains, wrinkling her nose at the Christmas lights on the tree in her room and the big one in the living room, pulling up and bouncing in her crib, or really, anything with which she can use to stand.  She dares her world by letting go of things with one hand and tentatively taking a step with one of her perfect, sometimes one-sock-on-one-off, feet.  For now, that's as far as she gets, and for now, she'll grunt through life when she wants something or doesn't want something, will cry when she's tired or doesn't want a diaper change, will listen and watch intently, and will smile at everything in her world she deems worthy, which lucky for us, really is nearly everything.

I've stopped myself from saying, "I can't wait for her to (fill in the blank)..." because I want to stay in each moment, even the tough ones when my hips hurt and her cries are tearless and it's the third trip to her bedroom at 3 a.m.  Even those moments are short and priceless and lately end with her resting her perfect head on my or her daddy's shoulder because she just wants a snuggle and to be rocked before falling back to sleep.  Fine, I'll snuggle you, Squish...if you only knew I'd do it all day every day if you'd let me.  Staying in the moment seems to make each new thing she does that much more remarkable.  She grabbed an ornament off the tree the other day, for example, then yesterday found it in her toy basket and crawled over to the tree to put it back on.  She's a genius, I tell you what.

And so, I feel alive because I get to hang out with this little, perfect, wonderful, evolving being, and she gets to teach me about what it's like to grow from the very beginning, onwards.  Humans truly are remarkable.  I've said that it's deceptive when people remind me of how quickly time goes because what is really true is that so much happens in such a short amount of time for our babies.  What is remarkable though, is to realize I am also growing and evolving so very much at the same time.

When I hunt through the pictures from the last year, I do not want to go back.  I yearn to remember all of it, but not to go back.  I love the being Em is now, the one she will become, and all the little (baby) steps in between.  It is the coolest thing in my life that she is my baby.  She is my favorite first.  On this anniversary of one whole year passing, I rehearse the many children books now committed to memory, and specifically remember this verse: "Fox socks box knox, fox in socks, knox on box, fox in socks on knocks on box."  Just kidding, Squish, "You are my darling, my angel, my star.  My love will find you wherever you are."  And for now, you're probably in your little crib, wiggling your perfect heiny in the air until you find the perfect, comfortable spot and drift off to afternoon nap dreamland.

Thank you for being the miracle you are.  We cherish your every breath, little nugget.  To all the rest. Happy First Birthday, you, remarkable baby, you.

Your Mama