When your Dad and I were engaged, I decided to write in a journal and give it to him on our wedding day. I don’t remember much of what I wrote, but I know that I began writing it by explaining how inconsequential the date of that first entry was. I didn’t start that journal the day we got engaged, or on some other celebration-worthy day, but on some regular day that meant next to nothing.
This is like that.
It’s a Monday and I’m at a coffeeshop. I have other things I should be working on - is that motherhood? Just one long list of other things you should be working on that you put aside for this most important thing? - but here I am writing to you.
You are seven months old. You have a tooth, one singular tooth in the bottom of your mouth on the left, that you used to bite me a few days ago. (If you hadn’t, I wonder how long it would have taken me to notice it.) You are fiercely independent and you smile at everyone and all I have to do to get you excited is raise the pitch of my voice ever so slightly. Two weeks ago you said “Mama” and I melted. Your Dad is still trying to get you to say “Dada.”
I love being your mom, absolutely love it. You are brightness and joy and laughter. You have made me more tender, more kind. Some moms talk about how their babies smoothed out their rough edges and settled them down, but that has not been my experience with you. You have made my experience of the world sharper, clearer. I am more awake because of you.
There are times when this awakeness startles me, like when I’m listening to music in the car and a lyric I’ve heard a million times will suddenly ring truer and tears will fill my eyes. Other times it feels as natural as a walk on a summer day. It’s as if when you were born my heart cracked open through my chest and sometimes the wind hitting that part of me that I kept so hidden takes my breath away.
And yet, it’s just wind. Harmless, beautiful wind.
All my love,