Dear Baby A,
Today, you are six weeks old! Probably the fastest six weeks of my whole life, even though I’m trying very hard to cherish every second, to make this time last longer.
Six weeks ago, you were sleeping angelically through your first day of life, as many people (who had already loved you for a long time) passed you around and admired you. You were understandably exhausted: it must really be tough going from a warm, dark, hushed, never-hungry place, through a very squeezy tunnel, to a cold, bright, loud place where people will not stop touching you, and where you’re suddenly expected to get food into your tummy using your mouth. That’s the kind of day that would really take it out of a person. (I was pretty tired myself.)
Baby daughter, I am so excited to be your Mama.
I get lost in your deep, wonderful eyes several times a day.
I am fascinated by every little expression that flits across your face – awake or asleep.
When you smile, my whole soul smiles back.
Your tiny hands are so exquisite, I almost can’t stand it.
My favourite thing is listening to you sigh with each breath, your face getting sleepy, as you drink from my breast.
Even when you awaken too early, or cry with what seems like excessive drama (usually about being in your car seat), I know you are just learning how to be. It’s my job – mine and Daddy’s – to guide you and teach you the skills you need to cope with life. We are working on it as best we can.
Last night, I had a dream about our family, but it was different. Daddy and I were visiting somewhere far away – with two little boys. E was there, and so was his little brother, who was wearing a little cowboy hat and a diaper (and nothing else). They were both running around and playing, hiding from each other behind corners. They were beautiful, and it was fun.
I’m glad I just enjoyed that dream. I’m glad my mind never remembered that it couldn’t be real, that E’s brother – your brother, too – never will run or play or hide around corners. At least, not with us.
Amazingly, that was the only time in my memory that I’ve ever dreamed about Sebastian.
When I woke up, I remembered right away what the constellation of our family looks like in real life. I grieved, because it was so sweet and fulfilling to see him, and I don’t know when I might dream of him again.
But I don’t wish for that family from my dream, even though it made me so happy. Because if Sebastian were here, precious Baby A, you would not be… and that is a situation I can’t possibly wish for. The two families could never have been one and the same.
It’s confusing, but also simple. I love all three of you so much, with love unique for each of you. I miss your ageless brother, as I always will, but I’m immeasurably glad I don’t have to miss you. For us, you are joy, in adorable human form.
Today is Remembrance Day. It’s a day when we think and talk about war, and honour the sacrifices people have had to make during wars. I think a lot about this day, and have written about these things many times – about what remembrance means to me as a Quaker, what it means to students I’ve taught, and what it may mean to those who have lost children to war.
Your great-grandfathers, from three different countries, were involved in World War II. Today I’ve found myself thinking of them, and their wives and children, and mostly just feeling selfishly grateful. I’m grateful that your Daddy is here with us, rather than an unknown number of miles or months or years from his next visit home… that I’m not a married single mom, even temporarily… or unthinkably worse, a widow… that I don’t often worry about you and E being orphaned… that I’ve never had to worry about having enough food to feed you… that I’m not wondering whether a bomb will destroy us, or our home, or other people we love.
(Writing all this, I’m reminded that Hurricane Sandy victims have much in common with those who have experienced war. I’m exceedingly grateful we were not exposed to Sandy first-hand, either.)
Sweet girl, we are so fortunate to live when and where we do, and to have each other. I hope someday you will understand what a wondrous blessing you are to this family.
Love, love, love, love you, for always.