She is old enough now to want to stare at my face for hours. Well, until she is hungry or pooping or sleeping again. And it makes me stop life and just stare back. Mostly because I am not used to someone adoring me like that—wanting nothing more in life than to just SEE me. And I know it won’t last forever. She will figure out the TV has more interesting faces. She will want to discover everything else in life. But right now, it is just me. Mommy.
I know that every moment I invest in her is worth it. She has taken over my life. And I don’t hold it against her—I love her even more for it. How weird is that? I wonder if I have more kids, if I will have anything like this kinda time for them. The newness would have worn off by then. The first kid will be calling loudly. Life will continue to claim my time. I feel rather sorry for any future kids I have already—because all kids should be given time—this individual investment. This eye contact. This running conversation that I have with her about everything and nothing because the baby book says it is mentally stimulating for her.
I tell her she is one lucky girl. All she wants is food—all she understands is food. And I give her so much more…because I have been given so much. I give in direct proportion to what I have received. Then a thought tears through me: what of the parents who have nothing? What do they give their babies? I think it is harder for the parent than the child because they know exactly what they are not giving whereas the child only understands a small part of what they are missing (at least when they are young). Poverty now looks even uglier to me.
If something were to happen to me, suddenly, I want her to know how much I loved her. I am not sure how to write that in her baby book—at least not in a way that will explain and soothe my absence over all ages and phases that she goes through. I don’t know how this whole thing works, being a parent, but I think it is pretty much about doing the best I can with what I have right now. And the best is always love.