Sometimes it’s astounding

5 11 2012

This is today: Evanny at 5 1/2 weeks, busily growing her giant cranium and losing her hair. I didn’t plan to be one of those people who spend all their time staring at the baby, but I didn’t realistically plan for nursing; I had no idea how many hours a day I would have to spend just staring at the baby. Fortunately, this turns out to be a pretty interesting enterprise–and not because she’s cute. Sure, she’s cute. See?
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But cute is not, in itself, interesting. The growing, though, means I really am looking at a different baby every day. She spent a few hours yesterday at the house of some family friends while Matt and I tried to catch up on a little work, and when we got there to join them for dinner before bringing her home, I saw that she’d done it again: grown into a different baby. Sometimes I’m staring at a little redhead, sometimes a blonde like her brother, sometimes the total baldy we call Bruce Willis when the right sad-face strikes. Sometimes she’s sleep-nursing, and I’m staring at the vein-trees foresting her naked head, the fragile purple skin around her eyes, the natural pink eyeliner of burst blood vessels she gets from screaming, the almost-invisible eyebrows, and how I think her ears and nose both are twice already the size that they were born.
(The ear that was born crumpled really isn’t anymore; my brother will be so disappointed.). Sometimes her eyes are open, though, and then! They change color every day, shading from midnight blue through indigo to an ocean blue straight-on that’s crayola timber wolf when the light snags in them sideways. And they look at me, with that charming mix of incomprehension, baby-emotion, and the rapid reel of practice expressions that she won’t use again until she’s at least thirteen–and I Can’t help imagining what she’ll be moved and wounded by: what she’ll someday use them for. This is all just while she’s clothed against the chill of old wood houses, too; don’t even get me started on all there is to gaze on when she’s naked, a whole wriggling little world of tiny limbs and magnetically silky baby-skin. And in with all of that gazing at the surfaces is the simple awe that does not bow to pragmatism: I was there, after all. I know exactly how she got here, and whoever said you forget childbirth after was a liar or did the whole thing drugged out of her gourd. But I look at her, even when she’s not looking back, but especially when she is, and still find myself disbelieving, and not comprehending, that this delicate creature came out of my body, that this strange Piglet-flower grew in me as if I were a garden. Astounding.

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One response

5 11 2012
MaxAnn Twomey

Isn’t being a mother amazing, loving you own babe is the purest love ever.

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