Alice is my delight. I didn’t realize, even in the days after she was born, how close to my heart she would become. How my heart would go pitter pat when I see that first smile of the morning. How if her nap goes on for longer than usual, I start missing her. Years ago when thinking about the possibility of having children, I used to think I’d skip babyhood if I could and move my kids right into the stage when they’re talking and interacting. After all, that’s so much more interesting and rewarding, right? But it turns out that I love that she’s a baby. There’s nothing as interesting as watching her move her little dimpled hands towards a toy or kick her little legs, and nothing as rewarding as her sighs and coos of pleasure as I breastfeed her, or her gurgles and “gaaaa”s when she talks to us about all her little baby feelings. I was a fool to ever even consider wanting to skip past this time. (Isn’t it great that God doesn’t leave those choices up to us?) And not only do I love that she’s a dimpled, double-chinned baby, but I love that she’s my baby. When we were saying goodbye to my family after Christmas, I remember getting a rush of joy when I thought “Thank God I don’t have to say goodbye to Alice–I get to take her with me!”
My three months of maternity leave, of which today is the last official day, have meant so much to me. Alice is my daughter, my buddy, my baby-love, my responsibility and my joy, and these months have been full to the brim of happiness.
I particularly remember that first week we spent alone, when she was 2 1/2 weeks old. My mom had left over the weekend, so Monday morning after my husband went to work, Alice and I had a whole day to ourselves–in fact, a whole week full of days to ourselves. And it was beautiful. Sunlight enveloped the living room in a gentle glow, and as I lay on the couch and nursed and napped with my baby, the quiet only broken by her little snorts and sighs, I really started falling in love with her.
Here are some shots of us at Thanksgiving, when she was a month old . . .
. . . and here are some taken just last week, at almost 3 months old.
I thank God that come Monday, when I go back to work, this little bundle comes with me; I don’t think I could do it otherwise. I’ll load up the car with diapers, wipes, blankets and pacifiers, and I’ll load up my heart with prayers for faith and peace and joy, and we will jump into this new phase together.
Have a great weekend everyone. Monday approacheth . . . but it’s not here yet!