Sweet baby, I have held you for nearly three months, and you are growing and changing and becoming more YOU so quickly. You’re such an individual in our home, and you own an irreplaceable spot in our hearts (and have, from the very beginning). We can no longer imagine our lives Mamie-less.
There are so many things I want to remember about you. I find myself holding you more than I held Babs, because I better understand just how brief this stint of your smallness will be. I don’t know how many more babies God will bless us with, and I want to make sure I savor you in your baby-ness.
I want to remember the small warm weight of you in my arms, taking up the entirety of their circle. I want to remember your grunting and cooing noises filling the space between smiles and contented sleep. I want to remember the smell of Dreft on your clothes and lotion on your body.
I see the piles of your little clothes on the table, and I want to remember how small they are, and how they looked on you. I come across old pictures of Babs as a baby, and I want to remember how, each day, we see glimpses of her in you and you in her. I want to remember how you respond to her, how you calm down when she talks to you and how she delights in being your big sister.
I’ve been trying to remember you since you were inside me. I want to remember your kicking feet and how you were so stretched out inside me that you were up inside my ribs. I want to remember how you were born, and how it felt to hold your still-slimy body against mine on that first day. I want to remember, maybe most of all, your father’s face as he met you for the first time.
Before I know it, YOU will be the three-year-old with the distinctive fashion sense and the cute little observations about life. It won’t be long and my two little girls will be off. You, dear baby, I must cherish as the gift you are right now. When you wake in the middle of the night or interrupt what I’m doing with a cry, I have to remember how I’ll long to nurse you someday, how I’ll miss cuddling your feet, how I’ll want to look back at pictures to recall how your daddy played with you.
We laugh a lot, thanks to the adventures and trials of parenthood, and I want to remember how we laugh at your diaper explosions, which happen at least twice a day (giving me ever more chances to reflect on your small clothes as they pass through the laundry!). I want to remember how we laugh at the piles of toys Babs “shares” with you while you lay on your blanket on the floor. I want to remember the laughter – the baby laughs and the child laughs and the adult laughs – and share it with this old house, which seems happier when its filled with lots of people laughing.
I don’t want to forget, baby Mamie, the easy way you smile at me, and how those smiles erase the pain I feel sometimes. I don’t want to forget how you are so very different than your sister, how you sleep through the night more some weeks than she does, how you sleep with your arms in the air (which, I know, is a trait all babies your age share; there’s a name for it and everything). I don’t want to forget the way your feet are too big for most of the socks that should fit you, how your hair seems to be curly, how you have that little blue vein between your eyes.
I want to remember my grandma’s face when she met you, her second great-granddaughter. I want to gaze at her gazing at you and imprint it on my memory, so that if I am ever a great-grandmother, I can share it with my great-grandchildren. I want to remember how my youngest siblings looked at you in the hospital and seemed to marvel at how small you were. I want to remember how your older sister was delighted to finally meet you and how she still, three months later, exclaims “Baby came out of your TUMMY, Mommy!”, reminding me anew of the miracle you are.
There are so many things, my sweet girl, that I want to remember. As I snap away with my camera and struggle to stop long enough in my busy days to jot some notes, I want to remember most of all how very blessed I feel – even on the days when nothing goes as I think it should – to have you in my arms. I want you to feel that someday, a feeling of overflowing and peace with God.