Thursday, August 20, 2009

Just Another Day

I wake up to a soft little voice, and bound out of bed bleary-eyed to see her. Good morning, jellybean girl! I get hugs and pats and then she’s too excited, pointing at everything in her bedroom like she’s seeing it for the first time, wanting me to put names to things and let her touch stuff that’s normally out of reach.

She screeches with dismay that I cannot hold her while frying sausages, and it makes me crazy that no matter how many times we play out this food-being-prepared-I-can’t-hold-you-now scenario, it’s always the end of the world. I tell her no, and wait, and please, PLEASE stop, and count in my head how many hours until we go through this again, at dinner time. She sobs, and it both breaks my heart and makes me want to holler at her.

We’re at the toddler pool, and she’s ecstatic to be in the water. Her favorite thing, ever! I am excited for her, and can’t understand the listless disconnected moms who sit by the pool’s edge chatting, eyeing their pedicures and ignoring their toddlers while they complain about disappointing husbands and shoddy housecleaners. I am in the water beside her – I’m a water slide, and a horsey ride, and a ledge for chubby hands with wobbly fat water legs to hold onto. She squeals with excitement, and I want to squeal too.

It’s bath time, but she won’t get in the tub. She presses all the buttons on the printer in my office and sends a blank fax to Istanbul. She wants to spin in the chair, and pound on the laptop, and runs into her room and tears all the paperbacks that she’s not suppose to touch off the bookshelves. She throws cups of water out of the bath onto the floor, wants me to destroy the environment by leaving the tap running, shrieks when I shut if off. She stands up, and cries when I make her sit. She only wants to suck toothpaste off the brush, and howls when I grab it and try to wedge it in her mouth, feeling endless guilt when spots of blood appear. It’s because the molars have broken through, but I still know I’ve caused her pain, and it hurts in ways that non-moms have yet to feel.

We’re in my bed in jammies, with the ceiling fan softly humming overhead on a warm cicada night. We’ve pulled the big, overstuffed pillows into a comfy pile, and she lays with her soft sweet-scented curls brushing my face. We read story after story until I’ve lost count, until I can’t even see the words anymore in the fading light but know them by heart anyhow so it doesn’t matter. In the quiet of the dim room after the last The End, still and silent, I am suddenly afraid of how easy it was. The years of wanting and months of trying, the worry and the drama and the biology of this little person coming into being pale in comparison to the wonder that is lying in my arms, content and peaceful. This person who walks and talks and calls me ‘Mama’, who makes me violently, irrationally crazy one minute and astounded and overcome the next. My daughter.


Genkicat said...

I can't wait!

Jessica Moe said...

I read this as my 3 month old, who has been suffering from a bout of tummy troubles tonight, finally fell asleep in my arms. It is 3:53 in the morning and all I can think right now is "Thank you, thank you, LORD for giving me a reason to be awake at this time." 3+ long years waiting for a little one to hold, and there honestly hasn't been a moment like this where I haven't recognized what it took to get here. I know that I am so profoundly blessed and it is wonderful to hear someone so eloquently express the love for a child who took so much to get here. Thank you so much for sharing this.

marit said...

You write pretty, lady.

Barb said...

Oh my goodness. We are at the exact same place in our house. I kid you not. From the screaching during dinner preparation to the pointing at everything excitedly during wake-up to dramatics over the water being turned off in the tub to Mommy's favorite thing... the teeth-brushing ritual in which we both end up in tears. But you captured it beautifully. It's challenging because I'm not used to having this much attitude and demand from anyone, and yet it is unbelievably fun because the joy and excitement of this huge new world is absolutely thrilling to him. Thanks for sharing a great post.

Chris said...

Wonderful! Your post warmed my broken heart.