My baby is two weeks old.
I should be doing the dishes. Instead, I’m sitting on my couch in my pajamas while my toddlers play upstairs and I hold my sleeping baby on my lap. I sit here, basking in the sounds of a quiet house (more rare than you might think) and wondering at the passing of time. One the one hand, I feel like celebrating that we’ve made it through the first two weeks of life! In many ways that is no small accomplishment, although we may take it for granted. On the other hand, I wonder how it’s gone so quickly and if there was more I should have noticed and appreciated. It’s certainly been the busiest first two weeks of life that I’ve ever experienced.
I remember the words of a Christmas carol: “how do you write down a baby’s first cry?”
I’ve been pondering that these past two weeks as I’ve tried to drink in the wonders of my newborn. More than once, as I’ve held her, my silent prayer has been “Please, help me to never forget what this feels like!” How DO you write it down? How DOES a photo capture the feeling of having a tiny little body fill your whole vision? How CAN you memorize the moment and hold it a little longer?
Of course I think all these thoughts while I also learn to take care of the baby, myself, and the rest of my family. Thank goodness for my Mom’s help in the first week, or we’d be in terrible shape. We’ve had 5 soccer seasons start, and are trying to figure out a back to school routine that will work. I’ve got a 7th grader, 5th grader, 3rd grader, 1st grader and kindergartener. Some of those are really big years! I don’t want to miss anything about them. Neither do I want to miss the antics of my three year old or the light-speed growth of my 20 month old.
I also don’t want miss the tiny fingers that curl around mine, the little lips that open so sweetly and remind me of a baby bird waiting for a worm, the feeling of a tiny bundle snuggled against my chest and the whisper of her sweet breath as she sleeps peacefully. I don’t want to forget it, either. I want to find some way to bottle it, to preserve it so I can experience it later when she’s grown and I want to turn back time. If only there was some way to do that!
I remember reading the words of Neal A. Maxwell years ago. He was writing about how we are always wanting to fast forward to the future or hold back the tide, neither of which is really possible. He said, “We are not at home in time. We belong to eternity.”
Today I don’t feel at all at home in time, but I’m trying to appreciate what I have before me right now. And I’m thankful, so thankful, that this little one is part of my eternity, even if we will all do a lot of changing along the way.