There are almost 100 unpublished posts in my draft folder, and a erroneous click of an arrow brought this to the top of the tier today. It’s at least 2 years old, but it made me smile. The only thing I’d add to the romantic musing is that while the commonness of the baby may make the baby seem more miraculous, it is certainly harder to sit and enjoy whatever miracle it is. By baby #6, you’re just plain tired.
I feel the tautness around my eyes as my face moves into a smile. It wasn’t this way a decade ago. Perhaps the lines run deeper, and the skin, it has had a decade to age. Her baby breath slows and in the dim light peaking through the curtains I watch her hands give up their fight. So many things she has learned in a week: to wave, to clap, to rock on hands and knees, to scoot backwards across a room. Her unseen-teeth swell her gums, and any day now, I’ll glimpse those bumps of white.
I know it now, what comes. What follows. I know the fleetingness of the stages. I’ve been down this road half a dozen times, I’ve seen half a dozen of my babies raise themselves up on their hands and knees. Rock and sway today; run and dance tomorrow.
With my first baby, of course, each stage felt presidential. Surely no baby had ever swayed just like he. No baby could have ever possessed such skill in the opening and closing of fingers, no eyes ever lit with the intelligent comprehension as did his when first considering his own tentative wave. As new parents, we took videos and sent emails of pictures to grandparents, we cheered and marked every milestone in ink.
This baby, though, she doesn’t have as many pictures. The grandparents are rarely notified of each new stage. Few things are written, few videos taken.
But my heart…oh, my heart…my heart cherishes each new discovery in ways I wouldn’t have known a decade ago. I experience them–I experience her–in a canyon carved by ten years deep of this mothering life. What once seemed marvelously unique to my firstborn now seems breathtakingly common. And I don’t know but that the commonness seems more the miracle.