Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Dear “Elizabeth Taylor,”
Your first doctor’s visit was when you were just a week old. I remember I hadn’t slept for longer than an hour, maybe hour and a half, since the day before you were born. You were nursing so much and so often that my sleep had suffered immensely. After the nurse weighed you and took your temperature, she turned to me and said, “You can put another diaper on her now.” I looked at Taylor in shock and whispered, “I didn’t bring a diaper bag.” I had my purse but not a diaper bag. He and the nurse both said, “You didn’t bring a diaper bag?” I flushed and couldn’t believe my idiocy. Judge covered for me and let her know I hadn’t slept in a week nor even left the house since she’d been born. The lady found me a diaper and I shuffled to the exam room with our new little you.
Once I told that story to my family, they all laughed at me and said I should put that bit of history in your baby book. “She forgot a diaper bag,” they all chuckled. Then it was funny, but at the time I felt like a failure as a mother. Who leaves the baby’s provisions at home? Was this a sign of how terribly I was going to do as a Mom?
Since then, things have changed 100%, for sure. I now have a diaper bag, and a second bag of “back-up” items for an emergency. Plenty of clothes changes, medicine, diapers, creams, wipes, blankets, toys, etc. Always a camera. You also have changed. The visit doctor visit we are scheduled for today is your sixth month visit. You are half a year old! You roll over, sit up, laugh, you have two teeth and are working on another one, you babble, you’ve said “Mama” a handful of times, you pull up when I give you my hands, and your soul, your beautiful personality, has definitely come out.
I appreciate my mother so much more now. I always loved and adored her for how I was raised but now, I can see all the hard work she put into making my brother’s and my childhood pleasant. And my father - all the hours at the job and the sacrifices he made just because he had little ones at home. I see them now and I hug their neck in thanks. There are no words for the love that goes into raising a family and keeping it close. I am forever in debt to them for the life they gave me.
And now I look at you. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for you, and there isn’t even a question about it. I do it not without a want for anything in return. You are this beautifully souled creature that I wished into existence and now we take pleasure in simply being with you. When I wake and you have made it into bed with your father and I because you woke at 4 a.m. and I was too lazy to get out of bed to nurse and I just brought you into ours, I smile. I see you cuddled between us in the wee hours of the morning and I believe honestly I can die happy at just seeing you. Nothing in my life prepared me for this, for the joy a little human can bring.
I just want to do right by you. I want to do a good job. I see your genuinely bright eyes and your two-teethed smile and I am done for. You are the poetry in my life and the inspiration for creating good art. You have changed everything.
I love you. Happy sixth month birthday.