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Paying Attention

I am certain that the most joy I’ve ever experienced was felt on Friday the 24th of February, 2012. A 7 pound 7 ounce body of sweetness landed in my arms, curled itself upon my chest and filled a part of me I never knew was empty. That Friday, I became a Mama, a title which still to this day can get me choked up. In exactly a month, we will be celebrating that epic day and my heart is twisting in all sorts of beautiful ways just thinking about it. I will spare you the mush that is my heart right now, mostly because any attempt at threading words to just how loved she is and how captivated I am…well it seems so small and inadequate.

All I will say is that my mama heart is swelling. I am choosing to ignore the Hard and focus only the Beauty, something we can all do with a little vision tweaking. Like Mary Oliver pointed out, “Instructions for living a life:  Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” 

So I’m payin’ attention and I’m gettin’ mighty astonished and oh my, I’m tellin’.

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Every day that passes, we get more. More communication. More ta-ing. More words understood. More cheeky glances when she knows she’s doing something she’s not supposed to be. We say “Kiss?”, and she lunges towards us, lips ready.  There’s more waving. Every person. Every dog. Every tree. Every car. They all get a hello. She’s obsessed.

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She loves people and will lunge wholeheartedly towards other kids, her lips in a ready pucker, hoping her newest friend with be there ready and willing to receive. Music comes on and her face lights up like she’s just seen God and her body starts bopping to the beat. After she wakes, I walk into her room and when she sees me, her face crinkles into this smile where her eyes close over and she bares her teeth like a wild lion. It can make me woozy with love.

Our shrieks of “She just rolled over!” and “She just clapped her hands!”, have been replaced with surprised “Hey, how did you get there”?’s. Strong legs are eager to move and her exploration of the world is exhausting but enthralling to witness.

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Hey, how’d you get there?

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I could watch her play for hours, caught up in her own private world of imagination. I wonder what she thinks and I wonder how she feels, and then she looks up at me watching her, crawls over to me, and plants a wet kiss on my lips and I have to stop myself from squeezing her to mush and physically eating her. You know the feeling.

These are the things I have been silently waiting for. These are the things I knew, right from the very beginning, I would love the most. The fresh newborn smell, that’s nice. The soft velvet skin. That’s nice, too. Their teeny tiny body sleeping upon your chest. That’s really nice. But the knowing them? The who and how they are? What makes them tick? The looks on their faces? The amazement and wonder? That’s what I live for. That is what makes my heart swell so fiercely it feels like it might just swim away.

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Happy one-month-away birthday beautiful girl.

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