Morning Snapshots

One of my favorite things is the deliberate, languorous stretch of the newborn: their little bodies uncurl themselves s-s-l-l-o-o-w-w-l-ly, with chins jutting out, heads moving side to side as if to protest “No! I won’t rouse!” while their elbows push out and their tiny little knees bunch up.

This little ritual, usually precipitated by the lightest of feathery kisses on her soft cheek, was, for many months, the best way I could ever imagine starting our day.

Now, the ritual is louder, more active: I hear her laughter and squeals of delight and lay still, ears poised to catch the consonant-vowel combinations she so casually drops into her stream of babbling come through the monitor. I hear the distinct “thump” as she kicks the crib mattress and wonder what position I will find her in (we don’t like to repeat our geographic feats, you see.)

I walk softly into her room, undetected for a moment. She is usually busy chattering conspiratorially with her lovey, and when she looks up and sees me there, she is a wriggling, giggling, gasping bundle of exhilaration. No doubt about it, she is ready to start her day.

Those moments, when we meet eyes and she laughs and smiles and her arms thrash and her legs flail and if she could, she would bound out of her crib and into my arms completely by her own volition, are the best way I could ever imagine starting a day.

It hit me recently that this other routine of ours, this rhythm we found, also means the slow, lazy stretch of the newborn is no more. Never more.

I want to carve that image into my memory permanently, so it does not slip away the way time seems to these days. I don’t want to say this is bittersweet because there is no bitter. Just a wistfulness, and the exhortation that time must slow down. Not because I want her to stay a baby—knowing her sparkly self now, I cannot wait to see the person she becomes. But rather, because as I sometimes whisper in her ear at night when she curls up on my shoulder and settles in for a sleepy hug,

It is too good to go this fast.

I don’t want to miss a minute of it.

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12 thoughts on “Morning Snapshots

  1. Thanks!

    It’s not often I get to do any writing that remotely incorporates scene or action, so this was a welcome departure…and of course, my favorite topic :)

  2. This post makes my ovaries/uterus ache! So well written. You are obviously an amazing mother who doesn’t take one second of her daughter’s life for granted. Enjoy every precious moment :)

  3. We’re doing pretty well overall, thanks for asking! My 17 month old (where did the time go!?) has had a bit of a rough winter and was basically sick nonstop for nearly two months. Nothing too serious–mostly colds and ear infections–although he did possibly have croup. Of course I caught everything he did, so I’ve been sick more frequently this winter as well.

    Now that nicer weather is on its way, I am hoping for a bit of a reprieve from all of this sickness and subsequent doctor’s visits! I hope you and your little one have fared better than we have this winter :)

  4. This will be a wonderful treasure for your daughter when she grows up! She’ll read these words and have the same reaction as many of your readers – Aww!

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