Loves and Misses
I love babies; I always have. I love how perfectly peaceful they look when they sleep. I love the dozens of faces they make while they’re dreaming. I love wondering what they could possibly be dreaming about at such a young age. I love their tiny noses, fingers, and eyelashes. I love their chubby cheeks and their gummy smiles. I love their little coos and gurgles and the way they wave their arms in the air while they’re cooing and gurgling.
I love the way they nestle into my arms or against my neck and just fit perfectly, like a puzzle (when they’re content, that is). I love the way they smell after a bath—thank you Johnson & Johnson and Burt’s Bees baby washes. I love the way they smell anytime; milk breath, or even spit-up breath, it doesn’t matter. It’s the best smell in the world. I love how soft their skin is, especially the bottoms of their feet. Only babies’ feet could ever be so soft.
And then there are the particulars to my baby: my baby. It’s still so incredibly awesome that I can say that—that I have one of my very own. I love his adorable double chin and the innumerable rolls on his arms and legs. I love the funny balding pattern that leaves an ever-shrinking semi-circle of newborn hair around the back of his head, like a man with a receding hairline. I love the look on his face when he’s been fussing and suddenly realizes that he is finally about to be fed. I love the way he clutches at my shirt while I’m feeding him, and his other little meal-time mannerisms.
I love the way he smiles after he dirties his diaper, and how pleased with himself he looks when he misses his diaper. I love his infatuation with our living room ceiling fan and that he can at times have a fifteen or twenty minute happy conversation with it, regardless of whether the fan is on or off. I love how cute he is when he wakes me up in the middle of the night smacking his lips and turning his head back and forth without opening his eyes, as though it would be too much trouble for him to open them. I love the funny swirly shape of his belly button. I love that lint collects in the palms of his hands and between his fingers because of how tightly he clenches his fists most of the time. I love that, oddly enough, rock music seems to settle him down. I love that dazzling grin that he is bestowing more and more generously every day. And I LOVE that I am his mommy.
All of this love doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that I miss from before Charlie was born. I do, of course, miss sleeping through the night. I miss being clean, as I’ve discovered that being the mother of an infant is about being dirty—between being spit-up, peed, and pooped on and barely having time to take a shower myself. I miss going grocery shopping, since we’ve found that it’s way too difficult to take Charlie out at this age, so I’ve been staying home while Daniel does the shopping. I miss riding in the front seat of the car with Daniel and holding hands when we go somewhere.
These things are all pretty simple, although not an all-inclusive list, but when I am overtired they can sometimes feel a lot bigger than they are. Thankfully, Daniel and I are able to talk with each other openly about what we miss without judgment, and with the security of knowing that no matter what, neither of us would change a thing.
It’s already been six weeks, and things get a little easier with every passing day. Besides, the loves totally outweigh the misses.
P.S. Happy Birthday (Thursday) to my wonderful husband, Daniel! I love you!