Category Archives: Letters

A broken voice. A broken door. A broken choice. That I broke some more.

It seems like we were both trying so hard to break each other. You be the first, no you, no you. We both wanted to badly to win. To make the other one stumble back, eyes widened, and say ‘oh, i finally see.’ To fix the other. To make them understand. All we needed was to break through. Break in. Break out. Break… We broke. Maybe not each other, but we broke something. The opportunity? Maybe. Who knows that answer.
I know that I cant write. Not like that. Not anymore. And that makes me feel broken. So… maybe you did break me. Maybe you won.

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This Day.

Madelyn Olivia,

I think of you. Every night, I think of you.
Before my eyelids win their heavy fight against my conscience, and I succomb to sleep I do my thinking. About the day that passed. About my job. About my wedding plans. About a new cd I listened to. About finances. About redecorating. About relationships. About everything my days contain. And always, always about you.

I think of what today taught you. All the days that have passed since you came into my arms. All the days that brought you new tricks to show off with. To wave ‘bye bye’. To shake your head no, or nod yes with your entire body. To say dog and mama and daddy and whats that, and my personal favorite, dance, dance, dance (da da da). To pull clothes up across your head, because you know thats how we get dressed. To make your train go “bbbbbbrrrrrrroooooomb” while you cruise across the kitchen. To speed along on your hands and knees faster than I ever imagined a baby could. To stand, so close to walking (but allowing me just one more day of having a baby and not a toddler). You grow in each second, Madelyn. Physically, emotionally, mentally. I am awed.
Those fingers, on which you used to spend hours trying to simply find and upon discovery, suck ferociously. Now they wave and point and tickle. Those toes I counted and nibbled and thought impossibly small. Now inches from taking their first free steps. That voice that I first heard cry out, then coo so softly. Now creates words, and squeels of happiness, and songs. The things you have mastered every day amaze me baby girl. Every night I think of all you have learned.

I think of what will come. A year has passed so quickly, too quickly. My heart aches for time to fall back so that we can do it all again. Every sleepless night. Every nurse. Every roll. Every bath. Every walk. Every cuddle. Every song. Every dance. Every smile. But there are years to come. They will bring memories all their own. You will walk, and run, and play games. You will dance, and sing, and write stories. You will create, and make believe, and change the world. You will make friends, and go to school, and leave our sheltered world. You will grow up. You will become a little girl, and then a woman. The person you will become is written all over you already. She will become stronger and brighter with those years that are coming. The changes you will bring stun me little one. Every night I think of all that will come.

I worry. Every night. Am I doing enough? Am I doing it wrong? Can I give you what you need? Can I help you be anything you want to be? Will I make you happy? Will you know how hard I tried?
The love that came when you arrived was one I knew I would feel. Unconditional. But the complete and all consuming fear that it brought, I never knew I would know. There is not a night that I lay down to that does not bring thoughts of who I am molding you to be. Becoming your mother changed me fundamentally in ways I did not expect. Nothing I do, from driving to work to flying across the world, is without a thought of you. Who you will be if I am not here. Who you will be if I am. The world can be a scary place to a mother; a constant game of chance. I could stay home and hide away with you, hidden from the world and all its frightening possibilities. But there is a prize if I chose to play, Madelyn. I get to be a part in watching you become amazing. I get to cheer you on at soccer games and watch your dance recitals. I get to hang your art on my walls, and read the stories you scribbled down. I get to kiss your scraped knees, and kiss you goodnight. I get to ground you, and tell you ‘that boy is no good’. I get to listen to you, and watch you, and experience you. I get to be your mommy. Every day, and every night I worry about what will come tomorrow.

And then, every night I push the door to your room open just before I go to bed and creep slowly across the floor. You’ve long since fallen into a deep sleep coma and tossed your sucky aside. The blankets are usually underneath you and in the most awkward spot to pry free and recover you without disturbing your slumber. Your delicious chubby thighs are spread width-wise across your crib, allowing your feet to slip through the cracks. I lean on the railing and stare at you, your chest rising and falling, your eyelids flickering with the movies in your head. But then, my favorite part? I break every mommy bed time survival rule and reach in and lift your little body up to me, and we dance. Every night, Madelyn. Then you stir, irritated Im sure to have been disturbed from your wonderful baby dreams, but with a flutter of eyelids, and a crooked little half grin, you snuggle your face into my shoulder and throw your leg over my arm to recreate your crib sprawl. And your breathing steadies again. And I smell the top of your head and just hold you, dreaming in my arms while we dance our night time dance. And I thank the world and all its ways for bringing you to me. Every night.

Happy First Birthday to you, my sweetest baby girl. I am so thankful for you, and everything you have and will continue to become.
I love you times 3 infinities and the moon.

Love, Mama.

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Six Months.

Madelyn Olivia,

Six months ago today, you took your first breath, and we met face to face, for the first time.
My pregnancy with you was up and down. I loved feeling you move, and kick your feet, and twist your head about.  I hated feeling like you could slip out at any moment for the entire last month. Yes, you were that low.
One evening, weeks before you joined our life out here, we sat in the car and I was pushing back on my belly, feeling your thrust your legs out in response.  You kicked one foot straight out, up so high, just below my ribs. And I held it, I held the whole of your tiny unborn foot. And it made my heart race, feeling you, knowing you felt me too. You pulled it back as soon as I freed it, and it never happened again, but I havent forgotten that moment. As a matter of fact, I think of it quite often when I kiss your feet, and nibble your sweet toes. How much bigger they are now. How much bigger they will get.

All of you has grown. I am amazed, constantly, by how much you grow and change. Each day I look at pictures and gasp at your striking changes. You are getting so big, becoming so smart, growing up before my eyes.

Six months has brought such difference. You can sit, by yourself, steady and strong. You are proud. You can sing and babble with octives changing each day. High, and low, and raspy and beautiful. You can reach and grab and bring every thing and anything to your sweet mouth. Chewing and tasting and curiously exploring.
YOu have found your toes, and love them just as much as your fingers, to eat and to wave about while singing at me. You have grown two beautiful white and perfect teeth, and you show them to me all the time, with your big smiles, and when you gratefully gnaw my fingers. You fall asleep suddenly and soundly on your Daddy, and never fail to make me laugh, each time you do, as youve almost always just refused a nap.  You have mastered the most serious and pensive looks, while you contemplate new ways to get all three soothers into your mouth, or when I call your name, distracting you from banging your lamb on the floor to make him ‘bah’.  You reach up to my face and run your fingers along it, almost as though you are locking its feel and shape away, somewhere you will always keep it, knowing your mama.
And your smiles. Oh Maddy, your smiles.
When I come to your room when youve sang your awakening, you smile up at me like Im the one person you wanted to see. And the same smile comes to your Daddy, not a moment later. It is a smile that is full of happiness, a face consuming grin. Your smiles, Madelyn, break my heart into a million little pieces.

I was so afraid, when I found out I was going to be a mother. Was I ready? WIll I be horrible? Will my baby be happy? And you have soothed my fears since the moment I laid eyes on you. Sweet baby girl, you have changed me profoundly. I am a better person, and one who would give anything for those beautiful baby smiles you give so freely.

So my sweet miss mouse, here is to our first six months together in this world. Thank you for being the baby I dreamed of, for teaching me how to spend hours sitting on the floor banging toys and tasting reciepts, and for smelling SO. Damn. Good.






Love, Mama.

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