I intended to write my 3/26 slice of life on my layover between Chicago and Salt Lake City. Well, that didn’t work. A three-hour delay in Washington caused me to miss my connection in Chicago which catapulted me to St. Louis, where I froze(!), then to Phoenix, and finally to Salt Lake on Friday, March 27. After 20 hours in airplanes and airports, I was exhausted, and all I could think about was getting to my daughter and her new little baby.
Maggie was born on March 24, 2015 and everything went so well.
Then, I intended to write my 3/27, 3/28, and 3/29 slices, but I was attending to my daughter, rediscovering newborn love, and feeling utterly mesmerized. I guess I’m still much more a mother/grandmother than I am a writer, but I am learning that the desire to write doesn’t make up for the effort to write. If I don’t make an attempt to record these precious days with my inadequate words, then the days are just past. If I try to say something, perhaps a bit more remains.
So, it’s Monday morning of my spring break, my 4th day in Utah. It’s full spring here in Utah with flowers, warm sunshine, sandals, and sunglasses (both of which I forgot to bring). I’ve never seen so little snow in the mountains at this time of year. It makes me fear for what the summer may bring if rains do not come. When you see all the beautiful flowers, trees, and lawns here, it’s sometimes easy to forget that it is still a desert.
I have a few quiet minutes while Jill and Maggie sleep to try to express some things I’ve felt the past few days.
Do you remember newborn breaths–irregular and soft as clouds and the breeze? Do you remember newborn hiccups–like chirps of toy crickets we played with as kids? Do you remember eight pounds of warm safe trust sleeping on your chest? Such a wonderful and beautiful contrast to the weight of worry or grief that can also sit there. Do you remember the sweet smell of newborn skin, how soft-as-down the hands and feet? Do you remember tiny ears, already tuned to mama’s voice? What about hair, finer than the finest silk? Do you remember skinny little “bird” legs kicking when diapers are to be changed? And flailing arms with tiny closed fists that sometimes softly punch in funny places? Do you remember the look of total contentment, satisfied, full-tummy baby bliss?
I started this month’s slice of life with the statement, “My baby girl is having a baby.” As I remembered being her age and also having my first baby (22) and how little I knew, I felt some pretty normal anxiety. I wondered how I could help, what I could share that would make a difference. Guess what I have found in my few days here? Mothering comes very naturally to this baby daughter of mine. I don’t have to do anything but be here and love them. She talks easily to Maggie; she plays Casey Abrams (Season 10 American Idol) and sings along because music makes her happy; she walks outside. She moves and works at her own pace, in her own way, and it seems to suit Maggie perfectly. As a mother, I couldn’t ask for more. I’m so proud of her and believe now more than ever, that she knows what she needs to know. She loves fully and freely. She said that she is so glad Maggie is here, because now she has a little friend to talk to. My eyes fill with tears of wonder and gratitude as I write this.
Last night, we turned out the lights and were all in bed wondering if Maggie might possibly drop off to sleep:). Her daddy had to get to sleep to be up for his 8:00 a.m. class. Her mama was tired from a full day of mothering. Grandma was tired, too.
Then Maggie tooted. Mark and Jill started giggles that soon grew to belly laughs. This was more than 3rd grade, “she farted!” laughter. I think it was laughter full of relief. Those first few days of fear–Will I be able to feed her, will she get enough, will her body systems work right–all were answered with a rather indelicate toot.
And life is good.