It took me 30 minutes to leave the house after L arrived to babysit. You woke up when Patchy barked his greetings. There’s just something about hearing your baby cry that sends a pulse of adrenaline running through a mother’s veins. This past month you had several nights during which you cried every hour on the hour. Your dad was out of town for several days and Patch was no help. I took you to the doctor to see if you had an ear infection. She said you were in perfect health and then turned to me to say, “I give you permission to let her cry it out tonight.” I guess she doubled in Psychology of Mothers. In short, you survived and are sleeping a lot better at night. Well, except for last night when you were up from 2am-3am because you were teething. And the night before that when your dad woke me up at midnight shaking my arm and mumbling, “The baby is crying.” He had no recollection of doing that the next day. Apparently, that internal baby alarm in dads works by waking up the mom. Figures.
I realized I referred to you as my daughter for the first time last week. Up until that time, I just called you my baby. There are so many changes that go on in a woman’s heart when she has a child. It’s wonderful and exhausting, uplifting and frustrating. You are trying to be everything for this little person and, at the same time, hold on to everything that defined who you were before motherhood. And then, just like that, you hit your stride. It’s by no means easy street. We have good days and bad days, but the former outnumber the latter by far.
We may be “pegaditos” most of the time, but we are very different in looks and personality. Friends will gently say, “So, she looks a bit like Seth,” to which I will respond – much to their relief – “Oh, she’s her daddy’s girl!” You inherited my blue eyes and I’m not going to lie that I really did pray for that one feature. I just wanted a bit of genetic credit! I was always very reserved as a child and you love making lots of friends. Few things excite you more than getting together with other babies and little kids. You start “talking” and waving your arms at them before lunging forward to give them a clumsy hug.
I took you with me to vote for your first presidential election. I may have dressed you up special for the occasion. Feel free to use this photo in your campaign when you run for public office one day ;)
You really are a sweet little girl and I’m already so proud that you are mine to care for, teach, and watch grow.
I love you.