I miss it sometimes – the raw, new, just-had-a-baby feeling that swept over my entire being just a little more than three months ago. I remember the feeling well, but it’s faded now…like sunshine leaving its mark upon the plains as it sets each night, leaving pink-streaked goodness in the sky as it falls.
I remember meeting him for the first time, ever, and feeling like I had no idea who he was. But, somehow, deep down, I recognized him, I saw that we knew each other, once upon a time, and that we were meeting again, this time for real, this time in the real world.
I remember watching my husband as he handed our baby to me, his eyes revealing a tender wetness, and feeling the realization that the time had finally come: we were finally parents. Our son was finally here.
I remember looking up as my parents and my brother came into our hospital room to meet him for the first time, ever. I remember feeling so full of pride and accomplishment as I announced his name to them, to the world, to my world.
I remember how food tasted so different those first few days – yummier, almost. I remember the pizza – oh, the pizza. A revelation.
I remember when my milk came, the most unbelievable feeling that stirred within me an unspeakable gratitude for the amazing workings of a woman’s body. It felt like finally feeling the fruits of much-prayed-for rain, sprung directly from God.
I remember the sweet, sweet nurse Hannah who patiently helped me figure out how to work my breast pump. Hannah, who reassured me when our son had jaundice that if I just focused on pumping milk for a little while, that once the jaundice subsided, he and I would be able to have the breastfeeding relationship I always wanted, he and I would experience the everlasting bond between mother and child that is fostered through nursing. And she was right.
I remember the whirring blades of the hospital’s helicopter landing just outside our window, waking him up on our last night in the hospital. I remember being struck with the realization that the only thing that would settle his anxious cries was the sound of my heartbeat, his Mama’s heartbeat, as he cuddled up to me, all night long.
I remember bringing him home, showing him the nursery, clutching him ever so tightly to my chest, afraid of what it meant to love someone so immensely and completely.
I remember being an emotionally-charged, hormonal mess of a wife-turned-mother, and sometimes, I lament that I’ve lost touch with that rawness, that newness.
I often think, Am I squeezing every last bit of goodness, of wonder, of memory out of this amazing life I’m living right now? Am I remembering enough, savoring enough, loving him enough?
I’m a dreamer. I wish and I dream and I long for things I don’t have. Silly things, like new couches and a home of our own with walls to paint and room for playhouses and swing sets and deck furniture. Fun things, like return trips to Seattle and going out for a beer on a whim one evening with my husband. And big things, like (eventually) having more children. Because it’s worth it – it’s worth all of the sickness, all of the worry, all of the pain, all of the sacrifice, to feel that rawness, that newness all over again.
But am I too busy dreaming for the silly things, the fun things, the big things that I forget to savor the goodness in front of me? Because it’s good – it’s oh so good. He is so, so good.
I find myself wanting, dreaming of being that girl who listens to the same beautiful song over and over and over again, just to memorize the words and the chords and the lull of the music a little bit more, a little better. The song that marks the biggest shift, the most monumental change in her life. The song of a boy, the boy, saying those three little words for the very first time. The ting of the telephone ringing, with blissful, welcomed news on the other side. Or, for me, the sweet sound of a baby’s coos, babbles, breaths and sighs.
I don’t want to look back on these blessed months of our son’s life and worry that I took it all for granted, that I forgot to cherish the days (literally, now) that he spends babbling, the way his little eyes crinkle half-shut when he smiles big and wide at me, the way that he knows my voice and follows it as I move about the room.
I don’t want to ever forget this song, his song. Because it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard.