Saturday, May 8, 2010

One Month

Dear Sylvia,

One month ago today, you entered the world with all of the gusto and brilliance befitting a new baby girl. It was rainy and stormy and scary outside, but Daddy got us to the hospital safe and sound, and by the time you arrived, we could all snuggle up together as one, happy family. The first thing I noticed about you were your eyes. They were bright and beautiful; wide-awake and full of life. You pulled your tiny head off my chest and looked up at me as if to say, “Hi, Mommy. Here I am! So that’s what you look like?” You stared at me for a good long time, studying my face, taking in every ounce of information it could offer you, and I studied you, too. I couldn’t believe that the little one who grew for so long inside of me was finally out in the world. It was a strange and beautiful feeling. There you were, in my arms and ready to start your story. Within seconds Daddy and I were overcome with love for you and for each other. It was truly a miraculous night!

We brought you home on a beautiful, sunny Saturday afternoon. As we drove though the neighborhood, I noticed that the dogwood trees had finally bloomed, like God had lined the streets with bright pink and white streamers to welcome you home. Grammy stayed at our house for a while to help us, but as it turns out, you are one easy baby! You started your days with resilience. You know what you want and you know how to get it. You can eat well, you can sleep well, and you love to sit on our laps and play in the early morning or in the evening. You can keep yourself busy in your swing or on your play mat, but what you love most is to be held and to hear our voices. When Daddy holds you close to his big, safe chest, you usually fall right to sleep. And when you fall asleep, you put on quite a show! First, your eyes start to droop, and then your lips start to pucker. Once your eyes are closed and you’re in a deep sleep, the corners of your mouth start to turn up, one at a time for a while, then finally you raise both at the same time and flash the most beautiful, sleepy smile we’ve ever seen. Daddy and I love watching you fall asleep.

My favorite time to hold you is feeding time. You’re very good at nursing and it is an unexpected treat for me as well. I didn’t think I’d love it as much as I do, but when you and I are together in our rocker, the whole world melts away and I get to spend some treasured moments with the little girl I love. I stare at your little ears and watch your sweet face. Sometimes you’ll move your head or your feet just a tiny bit and that movement is so familiar to me as I realize that I’ve felt you move that way before, when you were on the inside. You like to close your eyes and ball your hands up into itty-bitty fists, and you clutch them around my breast as if to say, “You are mine and I’m going to hold on to you forever.” And that’s how we do it, you hold me and I hold you. When you finish, we tend to sit there for a while and stare at each other. I usually tell you how much I love you and we sing songs or read books. Your eyes travel all over my face, just like the day you were born, and I can tell you are still studying me. These are the moments I will always remember – me and you, locking eyes, learning all about each other.

Now that we’ve been home for a while, I can tell that you are growing at a remarkable rate! The doctor says you’re very healthy and I can already see my baby getting bigger and bigger each day. You have no idea how happy and how sad this makes me. I cannot wait to see what kind of person you grow into. I can’t wait to hear your voice and see you play. I look forward to your first tooth and your first steps and your first day of school. But all of these moments will take you one step away from my sweet little baby, who fits perfectly in my arms and who smiles when she sleeps.

Sylvia, I have accomplished many things in my life. I've checked off plenty of proud moments on my To-Do list before I decided to have children. I wanted to make sure I didn’t have any regrets about the places I’ve been or the people I’ve met. I wanted my life to be very meaningful before it was time to settle down and start a family. But you, my dear, are my greatest accomplishment. The moment you arrived was the single greatest moment of my life. All of my other moments have faded into the background of my black and white past on the day you appeared in bright color. The first day of your life marks the day I became a mother and of all the things I’ve wanted to be, a mother is the one I’ve wanted the most. Your story is the most important story and I feel so blessed that I get to share your story with you. I promise to let you live your story and write your story with your own voice and your own pencil. I promise to guide you through the tricky parts and celebrate your own accomplishments as you try to figure out how to live in this wonderful world. Thank you for making me a part of your story. Thank you for making me a mother. Thank you for coming into our lives and thank you for being you.

With Love,



Rachael Koontz said...

Happy 1st Mother's Day!

Meredith said...

Okay, I needed a Kleenex warning! I love how when you hold your newborn you recognize all those kicks and movements from the womb. It sounds like Miss Sylvia is very lucky to have such a sweet Mommy.