Time weighs heavy on my heart.February 25, 2008
I bent down to pick up my beautiful daughter tonight and I had trouble for the first time ever. I bent at the knees and felt my back give out from the heaviness of her. Her body slacked in my arms and I had to use all of my weight to counter her 47 pound frame and get her into my arms.
When she was a baby, she fit right into that little nook between my hip and my neck and never felt heavy. I could dance around the house with her there, vacuum, talk on the phone…all while she just sat and hung on. All while my right arm was doing something else.
I remember dancing her to sleep in her room during nap times and bed time. As she rested in that nook, we would boogie to tunes like: Ricky Martin, Usher, Guns N’ Roses. We woke up to Z100 and went to bed with Travis and Celine Dion. I would sing and sway and rock to the beat and watch her as she drifted off into that space right before deep sleep. I never put her down right away. I savored her every inch before I put her in her crib. I have always loved the way she smelled of baby powder and sweat. And I have always adored the feel of her soft, feather-like hair tickling my neck and cheek. I never wanted to let go of that innocent joy. Even at my most insecure times as a mother, I always knew the feel of her.
I never grew tired holding her. I never felt like she was too heavy even after after a long while dancing and rocking. And there were days and long nights of dancing and rocking especially during the colicky months. But, I always loved being with her like that. Just me and her. Bonding. Mother and daughter. We still do it, but just for a few songs…Mommy’s back gives out now.
She’s growing so much I can’t keep track of her milestones anymore. She’s active and intelligent and thriving exponentially.
The diary I started for her four years ago remains in my drawer, each page filled with all of the new experiences and milestones we achieved together. I return to it on the hard days, remembering how trying those first few months were. I read her progression of the words she’s learned and I realize that she spoke so early and has mastered language at a phenomenal pace.
I sit and compare the past to the present, wondering which year was the hardest. I still can’t answer that.
All I know is that I love her with a passion I could never believe existed. And as I lifted her up tonight I wept. I wept for the baby I once had and for the girl I now struggled to hold in my arms without getting weary.
Her body is changing, her mind is expanding, her world is growing. She’s harder to hold in more was than one. But I promise her I will never let her go. No matter how old she is, she will always be my baby.
I have her saying it now too. “Mommy, even when I’m 35, I’ll still be your baby.”
And I wonder, can I have that in writing? Because I really need to believe that is true.