Often when I hold Skyla in my arms, I look at her and murmur to myself, "oh my God." And I really am talking to God when these words come out of me, marveling at God and with God as my daughter's beauty strikes me speechless and thoughtless, capable only of perceiving oceans of love for this tiny pillar of light sent from the heavens.
She's so small and sweet and by the miracle of the universe, the grace of God, the magic of life, she came to the earth through the warmth of my body to join our family. We have been entrusted with her care, and in exchange, she blesses us with her love.
Blessed. Blessings. Bliss.
I remember the morning I discovered my pregnancy, how the early summer light filtered into the bathroom and Giovanna ran barefoot in the backyard. I ate a fried egg and avocado with salt and pepper for the first meal of my pregnancy, and then again 10 minutes later for the second. I read about prenatal nutrition while Giovanna splashed in the plastic pool. We went to the health food co-op and I bought expensive vitamins and organic groceries.
I remember the evening of that day, when James came home and saw my prenatal vitamins on the counter. He didn't miss a beat.
"Are you pregnant?"
I was pregnant for 40 weeks and 3 days and now I have this perfect little person to show for it. She's often attached to my breast or snoozing in my arms or sleeping in her hammock or strapped to my chest or being kissed by someone who loves her. She smiles and giggles in her sleep, she throws her arms out frequently when she's not swaddled, she searches her surroundings in silent wonderment. When she awakens and I am not immediately present to scoop her up, she calls to me in warning before she starts to cry. James says I could recognize her call from the call of a thousand other babies. He's right. He gets a kick out of Skyla's affinity for me, her reactions to my voice and the unparalleled calm she finds in my arms. He respects the mommy-baby bond. He works long and hard so I can stay home with our little girls. I am grateful.
The days pass in flashes. Some moments are about surviving, others are about savoring. James' paternity leave will be over soon. He called these past few weeks a love-in. I don't want them to end. I don't want to go anywhere or do anything but take care of my babies and read books and steal little moments to express the words trapped in my mind, planted by my muses. Memoirs for this blog, messages for my loved ones, chapters of my novel.
Life makes so much more sense when you discover what really makes you happy and you focus your energy upon it. When you whittle your attention down to the tippy top of your priorities, the simplicity of being. The squeak of your newborn. The kiss of your child. A good song or book or movie. The contentment of your partner. A visit or phone call or email from a loved one. A homemade pot of soup. A cup of tea. A spot of sunshine. An afternoon nap. A nice comment on your blog. A decent page written. A plot point revealed. A memory recorded. A baby in your arms, drunk with your milk, her face moving in sync with her dreams. The silky underside of her feet in the palm of your hand.