Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The First of Many

Dear Lily,

I've made an irregular habit of writing letters to your brother on this blog and it has always been my intention to do the same for you, but every time I've sat to pen one, there's just not enough. Not enough verbiage to describe you. Not enough energy to try. Not enough time to do you justice. And not enough selflessness (?) I guess, to share you with the ether. My feelings for you are impossibly tender. From our first moments together I've had a sense, a surety even, that you held some missing pieces of my soul in your tiny, unyielding fists when you came through the veil. It was as if God had given you a few things he could see I was lacking and asked you to pass them along. And you did. And I am more whole with you than I was without you (a conclusion the disassociated onlooker may not arrive at, given the baggy eyes and more-than-occasional absentmindedness). I felt something similar when your brother was born; he enlarged me, added to my joy, but I don't remember him filling a void, bringing wholeness the way you have. There's more I could say, but nothing else I'm comfortable sharing in a forum semi-public, so ask me about it someday. I like to think this is something you know all about right now, but will probably forget with time; I would love the opportunity to remind you.

I haven't known many babies, but I've known of quite a few and I can say with perfect objectivity that I've never known a baby to be so sweet and mild as you are. (I'm sure there are/have been others; I know better than to think a clumsy mother like myself would deserve the sweetest baby in the universe. But somehow I lucked into you, whose sweetness could be measured to some small decimal place of the highest percentile, I'm quite sure). You occasionally manifest your mortality in fits of exhaustion or frustration, but for the most part, you are overwhelmingly cherubic and dear.

I read once about a study (which, to be quite frank, I immediately regarded as a heap of inconclusive hocus-pocus,) that suggested that people with children are less happy than those without. I would unreservedly cede to the author that people with children are more frequently inconvenienced than those without. My three and a half years of maternal experience would hop right up and tell you that my patience is tried, my temper is lost, my best-laid plans are thwarted by blown out diapers and back-seat barf extravaganzas, my dollars are stretched and so is my soul.
But my joy is multiplied to immeasurable depths in the trenches and triumphs of parenthood.

Lily, the smell of your breath makes me swoon. The rolls on your thighs make me drool. Your cheek against mine feels just right. Your fist around my finger is a perfect little clutch. Your morning growls are a welcome alarm. Your gummy grin is my Mona Lisa.

In short, little angel, you have enlarged my joy to unthinkable expanse.

And I'll spend the rest of my life trying to pay you back with love...

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