Today is a snow day, which means that my daughter and I get to spend the entire day all snuggled up together in the house, watching Elmo and reading books and playing. Nothing sounds better to me. My daughter is one of the most fun people in the entire world. I love listening to her tiny sweet voice trying out new words, and watching her chubby little face as she stands in the middle of the room, uncertain whether she is going to actually move her feet and walk, or just drop to her knees and resort to her time-honored speedy crawl. I love the way she cuddles close as we read, her small dimpled hand reaching out to turn the page, and her high-pitched “Again!” when the book is finished. I never get tired of just looking at her, and I am always amazed that here is this whole little person, whom God entrusted to me. Everything about her is wonderful, and I can never thank God enough for putting her into our lives.
Category Archives: Parenting
My daughter is obsessed with her own hands. Even before she was born, she covered her face and appeared to suck her thumb in the ultrasound pictures. Now that she’s here with us, she wrestles her hands out of any swaddle we put her in, and when she eats, she balls her hands into fists and keeps them near her cheek, except for when she’s holding my hand. When she’s mad, she waves her outstretched hands like talons, and she has managed to claw my neck and snatch some of her father’s chest hair. I think her nails must grow abnormally quickly–no matter how much we trim them, she always has a new sharp one to stab us with.
But her hands are perfect, these tiny little palms with lines already stretching through them. When she was born, they were wrinkled like Benjamin Button’s, but as she has grown, the wrinkles have started to stretch out and smooth into these long, tapered fingers, smooth palms, and pointed nails that are going to be excellent for manicures, once she can figure out how not to use them as weapons and we don’t have to cut them every day. Baby hands are amazing, these beautiful pieces of potential. Her father looks at her hands and sees a guitar player, or a basketball player. Her Aunt Kristi thinks maybe she will play the piano. I picture those little hands all chubby clutching a pencil and laboriously writing her name, pads of her fingers tapping a keyboard, palm clapped over her mouth as she laughs, fingers wrapped around a set of car keys, and one day, holding steadily to her daddy’s arm as he walks her down the aisle. Right now, only God knows who she will be and what she will do, but I can’t wait to find out.
My daughter is wonderful. She really is. Even on days like today, when everything possible has gone wrong–she wouldn’t sleep, she went through a million messy diapers (including one where she seemed to mistake my husband’s UK football shirt for a clean diaper), she threw up a lot, she developed a wheezy breathing pattern, and we ended up at the pediatrician’s office with me sobbing outside the lab door where my husband was holding on to her tiny arms so she could be x-rayed.
Thankfully, nothing really turned out to be wrong with her, but what I discovered today is just how panicky being a parent can make a normally sane person. Only this morning, my husband was commenting on how cool and calm I was about changing her diaper fifteen times, and how she wouldn’t eat. I felt calm and collected too, and then mere hours later I turned into a basket case, and I still haven’t really recovered from it. I start crying again every time I think about my tiny little girl on the cold table surrounded by giant machines. She’s just so small. And she depends on us for everything, and although it’s totally unreasonable, and we did the responsible thing by taking her in, it’s hard not to feel like we let her down.
She’s so wonderful, and I want to do everything right for her. But I keep remembering what my grandmother told me when she came to see me in the hospital: You want to do everything perfectly for your kids. But then you mess it up, and you have to figure out what to do with that.
I have definitely let my blog posting lapse lately. It’s been ages–I honestly kind of figured I was just done with this blog and should let it die. I’ve been really busy with work and and home and working on my masters degree. Oh, and having a baby. (Okay, so that part just happened last week, but it’s a pretty big deal to me.) Plus, I just hit one of those spots where I couldn’t think of anything I really wanted to say.
But when I checked my Google reader recently, I found a blog by one of my favorite authors, Silas House. He has committed to discovering something new every day for a month and blogging about it. The idea inspired me, and although I can’t guarantee that I will be able to post every day, I decided to try to share some of my discoveries here on the blog. Probably most of my discoveries will have to do with parenting, since figuring out how to be a good mom and spending time with my beautiful daughter (I love how that sounds!) are occupying most of my time lately.
I had no idea how much I would love parenthood. There are a million tiny things every day to discover and wonder at. One of my favorite things over the past week is watching her learn to breastfeed. She’s so trusting and loving in everything she does, but especially in her eating. As she eats, she reaches behind her ear to where my hand is supporting her head and she wraps her tiny fingers around mine, or she just touches my hand. It’s so humbling to watch her reach back to find security in my touch, and to see how much she depends on me to fulfill her basic needs.