If we’re friends on Facebook, you undoubtedly know that these days I post a steady stream of baby pictures. It’s really hard not to. I have to refrain from making posts daily because I get it… it’s obnoxious. I really don’t want to disappear into my child, or turn my profile into Hadley’s. That’s when the sweetness of being a new mom turns into creepy. The other day I caught myself on the verge of changing both profile picture and cover photo into babies latest photo shoot and I stopped myself just in time. But it is hard not to. She’s constantly being adorable and well, the truth is we hang out a LOT.
With all of this quality time comes so much – laughter, play time on the floor, nursing, diaper changing, dressing, walks around the neighborhood, reading (meaning I read the words while Hadley gnaws on the book), playing with toys and okay, the occasional TV show. I love hanging out with her. I make a conscious effort to soak up every moment because it truly is already flying by.
The thing is, while I am treasuring these moments, occasionally I’ll have the panicked realization that she isn’t going to remember any of them. Which is sad. And I find myself overwhelmed, wanting to share with Hadley all that we are experiencing together right now. I want to be able to tell her, years from now, how precious she has been to me from the moment I met her and all of the things I am learning about being her mom along the way.
When I told my dad that Josh and I were expecting, he said to me in his half-kidding but at the same time serious tone, “I’m so excited. Now you are going to know how much I love you.” And of course he was right. When I can happily sing a made-up song about poop in the middle of changing a dirty diaper, I know exactly what he meant. When I was a baby, I had parents who dragged their tired selves out of bed whenever I decided I needed them. They calmed me when I was upset, kissing away my tears. They changed my (cloth!!!) diapers. They delighted in my baby squeals and every new skill I developed. They protected me, worried about me, and loved me so. I never really thought about this before, and it’s an overwhelming epiphany.
When I look at Hadley, I want her to know the little things that I adore about her, all the things that are unique and lovely to her. So I’ve started writing them down for her. One day she will read them and even though she won’t remember these moments, hopefully she will realize that she is so very loved. And always has been.
Here are the beginnings of this list, which grows longer each day.
You’ve been smiling at us since the day you were born. You are a CHAMPION sleeper and for that I thank you right now. You’ve been sleeping through the night since you were seven weeks old and now at seven months, you are out for twelve hours straight every night. Way to be. Every morning, you wake up slowly in your crib. I let you babble for a little while before going in and saying “Good morning!” You always light up when you see me and instantly start my day off with pure joy. When you get excited, you start to pant. We think you might have picked it up from Henry (the dog, not your cousin). It’s just the cutest thing. You love bath time, and splashing in particular. You sit in your bath and kick as hard as you can, with the most determined expression on your face. Now that you are big enough to join us for dinner, we love sharing bits of our meal with you. You are a big fan of the greens – avocados, pears, and broccoli. Also meat and beans. When I pick you up out of the crib, you immediately wrap your arms around me tightly. It melts my heart every time. You look so much like your dad (but a much prettier version). The older you get, the more of myself I see in you – mostly your blue eyes.
So inadequate, I know. But for all that I can’t put into words, I have faithfully documented with the camera.