It's way early and I am up for the day, methinks. I woke up because I heard the bambina make a noise that sounded like a cry, checked on her, found her to be still well asleep, and decided to just sit and watch her breathe and enjoy the moment. I suspect that I will have a lot more of these 5am days, where I will get up an hour early to get ready for the day so that I can be all about her when she wakes up.
As I sat watching her I was thinking about the day we got her, which was exactly one week ago. (Although I hate the word "got." It's so pedestrian and just not at all what I feel happened. I feel like I was Gifted with her or that I met her or that we met each other or something besides the word "got." You 'get' chickenpox; you receive or meet or connect with your daughter. I just haven't found the right way to say it yet; stay tuned).
Anyway, I was thinking about the day we met each other. I had dressed up in my boots and skirt and nice shirt, because I wanted her to know from the photos what a big day it was for mommy that she actually wore a skirt! I mean, if you dress better to eat at an Olive Garden than you do to be given your child, then you have some priority issues to work out, at least in my notsohumble opinion. So the skirt was on, and I had everything planned for how it would go, what I would feel, what I would say to her. Those of you who know me know that I am an emotional person, but not in that Lifetime Television for Women way which I find embarrassing. I do not cry at Hallmark or Tasters Choice coffee commercials, I don't weep at any random Joanna Kerns/Connie Sellecca/Nancy McKeon movie of the week, and I have never felt at all moved by Touched By an Angel. I deplore maudlin sentiment in all its forms because I think it minimizes true sentiment that may be less dramatic and camera-ready, but is far more sincere and heartfelt.
You know how this went, don't you? When we got to the waiting room with the other families, our name which always is called last, was called second. In my surprise, all of my mental preparation went immediately out the window as I reflexively jumped up and near-sprinted toward the entry door for the babies. My plans for how I would feel were completely obliterated as soon as I saw those little scared, rheumy eyes peeking out from under a big winter hat and big puffy clothes that covered her mouth. She was, in essence, just a wee little ball of pink fluffiness with eyes. And can you guess what happened? I, me, the committed deplorer of all public displays of anything, promptly burst into tears at my great good fortune. In a room full of people no less! If you know me and my Scottish Calvinist background, you know how remarkable a happening that was.
In the days since, I have found myself tearing up when I see her make such big strides in such a short time. When she laughs for 10 minutes straight and shows her little teeth. When she gives me kisses after not knowing what they were just 7 days ago. When I saw her passport photo taken yesterday side by side with a photo taken last month and you almost think they are two different babies; it just brought home how far she has traveled in such a short time for such a wee little lass. It all just gets me in a way "baby stuff" never did before.
So I was thinking this AM about how becoming her mother changed me in small and big ways almost instantaneously. I was glad I had dressed up, but I didn't care that every photo would have me with big red eyes and runny makeup. I didn't care that my hair was getting matted and sweaty as I held her because she was so overheated. For perhaps the only time in my life, I didn't care at all what the pictures would look like. Didn't worry about a big nose or bad hair day. I just cared about the fluffy pink ball with eyes.
Maybe she will look at those photos when she's older and say, "Of course mom is crying; she always cries at stuff like that," never knowing that the moment I became that person is captured in the very photo she is holding.