My dear baby,
Morning breastfeeding session has just been completed. It was one of those sessions I made the conscious choice of giving you all of my attention and total concentration. I decided to do this by carrying out the exercise of trying to memorise and remembering off by heart your every characteristic, your every detail of appearance or mere habit…how you blink your eyes, how you suckle, how you swallow, how you pause to catch your breath, how some veins show on your forehead just like mine do, how your little body wiggles whilst you eat and the shapes it takes when so doing, the convulsive movement of your hands and your little fingers, every single thing about you…all in an effort to form a mental image of your current self to treasure whenever I happen to find myself away from you or simply to lock inside me for eternity.
And my God do you change faces rapidly? Every day! And I never quite manage to maintain a clear view of the little details that were there yesterday but which seem to have disappeared today. Why oh why did this petite munchkin phase have to go by so fast? I still haven’t found the answer to this. A train of thoughts and images parades through my head from the day of your birth till now. From the day I was battling to meet you, going up and down that clinic corridor, to our first touch, our first night together, to your first night home, to our many mornings, hours, moments, yawns and sneezes and cries and walks and talks. A magical waltz of pictures taking place in my head creates an instant wave of emotions and causes my eyes to go watery… The realization of how this ever so precious time flies and you are already plumped up and grown from that first day of yours makes me rather melancholic. I wish I could turn back the hands of time and relive all of it all over again. I wish I could somehow multiply the time and hours spent with you. How do I do that really? I quickly remember the words of a wise friend, “Every day a new surprise! Think of it this way and keep placing gratitude to the moment!” She is so right! That’s the only way to intensify and deepen the experience. I lighten up! That’s exactly how I’ll view it and that’s exactly what I shall be doing!
It was so beautiful to focus on you whilst you ate away and dozed off, though this whole exercise, I must admit, made putting you to bed so much more difficult. So I decided not to. Holding you in my arms whilst I write, feeling you, this tiny little angel and the strong vibe of, I want to say, “paradise” you transmit and send out is such a one-of-a-kind honourary privilege. Why would I be crazy or more appropriately somewhat unconscious enough to turn it down? In all honesty I cannot name one thing in this entire world which at this point in my life feels more special or important, something else which I’d rather be doing or spending my life on. Having my own tiny little person in the comfort of my own home to hold and enjoy is an opportunity which arises few times in nowadays one’s western life and lifestyle and I am not in the least willing to miss or waste mine!
Right here, this is precisely where I want to be…Right now is just you my little one, right beside you, being with you. Right this moment calls me to get to know you and to get to know the new me.
I look down on my chest and there you are! A tiny little person, a sleeping beauty breathing in and out, smiling and then frowning, then smiling and repeating it all once more…with lips so well shaped, coloured in the just-perfect shade of pink, with cheeks “so fluffy I’m gonna die”, tight and pinky, chubby and plump and soft, to me the best two little human balloons this world has ever seen! Smelling them feels like diving my nose into a bowl filled with fuchsia and pink baby roses…you are so rosy my little rose! Kissing them makes my mouth bounce…you are so bouncy! I chuckle with the greatest delight! My white and pink bundle of joy!!
On this beautiful morning the sun is shining in through the blinds, your hair and eyebrows are looking golden-ginger everywhere its rays meet your angelic face. A rhythmic chirp of a bird sitting by the electricity polls line outside our window, the sweet soft melody from Ewan your musical lamb and the tranquil sound of your breath and my sense of hearing has never been so content. A glance at you and my sense of sight has never been more deeply satisfied. Have I ever written in a better place? Could I possibly be more inspired? Focusing truly on this instance I am convinced there are invisible colourful butterflies and sparkles of magic all around us…the kind that extraordinary people with special powers can see, the kind that ordinary people with simply the willingness to sense them can feel..!
They told me that this would happen to me; me falling absolutely and utterly in love with you…they were right! They warned me I’d go completely nuts and how I’d lose my mind. They were right! But no matter the warnings nothing can prepare you for this…The emotions awakened inside you are beyond you and beyond words. The feelings felt cannot in essence be understood unless experienced. And I don’t think I’ve lost my mind. It’s all still very there. In fact, and I state this with full seriousness and humility, it came as a positive surprise to find how much quicker in thinking I have become; making faster brain calculations and mental choices all towards fulfilling the practical side of life and its many demanding motherhood/raising-a-newborn-which-wants-everything-right-now tasks! No, no, my mind is all still there, stronger and in use more than ever before, particularly so when guided by strong maternal instincts. Having changed the field where my brain was ordinarily and for some years now been engaged with and placed upon to play (though being a lawyer, to be fair, nothing ever got repetitive or monotonous, quite the contrary) yet having altered its zone of comfort where a lot was slowly through the everyday touch and practice becoming second nature and to some extent performed mechanically (something which admittedly never makes anyone brighter), my brain has been expanded and challenged and sharpened, much like an athlete training for the Olympics whose muscles awaken way better and gets much easier and way faster into the desired form once he changes his basic daily work-out and does exercises which are out of his normal merely-keeping-into-shape everyday routine.
But what’s happened is that my heart has also been put on super-mode, so it has somehow superseded the fast-performing multi-tasking activity of my brain. I have come to the conclusion that this is exactly what happens to parents, particularly new ones, and then most of them think, “Gosh! Baby brains! I’m losing my mind”! No, you are not – You have simply and completely entered a new dimension of emotions; a much deeper one, therefore you are less in your head than you were in your pre-baby life! In my case at least my heart has, with my blessings and full permission of course, taken over my life’s steering wheel and has become a pilot par excellence! And only God truly knows how much I’m loving this ride!
They say mother instinct kicks in instantly with the birth of the child; that the paternal one is rather slower in development with fathers needing to build some moments and memories with their child for that bond to be solidly created. I see their point and believe that for the majority of cases they are right.
They also say that in some mothers the instinct kicks in in an extreme lot, in some others a little and in some maybe never. They are right. And it doesn’t take a genius of a reader to understand in which category I belong in. The mother instinct has kicked in me long before you were born, from the time you were in my belly. I started making dreams about you and the beautiful life and love we would build together…the amazing bond and memories we would share, making plans and the conscious choice of multiplying life’s moments and time spent and invested with you. Suddenly the “I & other sections of my life” took such a secondary position with “I & my baby” and “You & I” taking the front row seat. You are my number one priority and I aim to invest in you a plentiful share of my life and a huge amount of my time on this planet! I make dreams of getting to know you, of listening to you, of having girl-to-girl chats and good fun with you, of offering you my warm arms of embrace but at the same time your own two strong hands to be self-capable and never a handicap of my love and offerings. I will turn my heart to stone if I have to giving you the amount of tough times you need in order to provide you with the necessary weapons and the ability to face the world on your own, of making a difference through your very own choices, standing alone and persevering. For how will you learn to do so if you remain literally and emotionally stuck up my, excuse my French, backside?
Of course you’ll always have my attention darling, particularly so in the first years of your life when you’ll still be building up your trust mechanism towards this world so that you walk your future fearlessly, carrying a strong sense of faith, safety and security inside…and you should always remember that it all starts from inside my sweetheart. Carry no monsters inside and you won’t meet any out there. Carry no fear in your heart and you won’t come across scary difficulties in your life. Carry love, confidence and the comfort of knowing you are being loved and taken care of whilst your needs are always being met and you will live on an endless flow of happiness, clarity and prosperity. Carry a light and guilt-free purpose of enjoying your short journey of life and you won’t get lost in unnecessary miserable and heavy human and society-dictated paths and games. Suddenly I sense a strong urge to raise a bright and secure person of this kind. In fact I feel duty-bound to; firstly for you, because I simply adore you and secondly for this world, because I respected and loved it way long before you and I respect and love it a thousand times more now that you are part of it.
My writing was temporarily interrupted – you woke up! The least annoying interruption and the sweetest break..! I changed your nappy whilst narrating to you the step-by-step process in a happy tune I made up along the way. You smiled and cooed and giggled and gurgled and I bubbled and chuckled and cooed right back at you…imitating your sweet sounds letting you know that “I agree” or that “You are absolutely right!”, repeating what you say in a way that I inform you that “what you say matters”, that “you are entitled to your own opinions and I am not here to impose mine upon yours but simply to exchange ideas” and that “what you have to say is important and I promise to always listen”. These are all particularly important messages so I choose to verbalize it all out loud. You smile almost like letting me know you’ve understood and you are thanking me for that respect and open-spirited liberty. You take a deep calm breath and I quickly copy you.
I then place you on your play mat. I sing and stare you in the eyes smiling at you; you swiftly respond with a spontaneous ecstatic loud squeak and I clap “Oh wow!! Well done Aria!!!!!!!!!! Bravo!! You are great!!! Yes you are! You are absolutely FAN-TASTIC my little star” I say with enthusiasm, feeling already a step closer to hearing your voice and discovering the things you have to say. If your clumsy laughing scream got me so excited, I wonder how I’ll feel when you call me mama!
You are the apple of my eyes, a new little heart within my heart…the big heart’s life and function being from now on totally reliant upon the little one’s. With my thumb I stroke your face and I lean to bring mine in close proximity to yours. Your little hands reach out and touch my lips and chin as I sing our family’s classic “que sera, sera”. It looks like you discover your hands and your sense of touch and you are thrilled to feel these set of lips you’ve been for so long just watching…Oh my! You really are so excited over this!! You show your amusement with an all-out gummy grin that’s just so irresistible! Too sweet, like caramel! You keep touching and tapping my lips, exploring and letting out beautiful “ah-goo” and other screeches and baby sounds, moving your tiny tongue in and out, in and out…opening and closing your mouth in a desperate and admiring for your 60-something days in this world attempt to talk!
Soon I know you’ll cry, the cry that says “Pick me up” and whilst almost every school of thought says “Don’t!” because “if you do you are giving her and her cry power” and because “that way she’ll learn to be held and you will suffer”, something tells me that I shall suffer more from regret if I listen and let the moments you want (or even allow) me to hold you pass me by. So within milliseconds I’ll cave in to your demands and give in to your every wish. I’ll hide you under my wings and hold you tight until my arms hurt and my muscles ache and there’s a sweet beautifully baby-scented smell of sweat emanating from the heat of contact of our two bodies. Then I’ll stare at you straight in the eyes whilst mine feel like they are melting away, almost drowning from my own super strong love for you and from the love and innocent admiration I can see in yours; I do this convinced with every cell of my body that there can never be any harm resulting from love, from embracing, literally and emotionally, a two-month old infant with all of your strength, all of your potential and all of your dedication and devotion! No my little angel, holding you can only do you good…For can love, tenderness and attention ever possibly harm? Can it do any bad at this early stage of life? When only two months ago you were still inside my belly, inside a womb, eating and breathing through an umbilical cord, could any cuddle and a loving embrace ever do any damage?
I say they can never prove enough and if all humans got all the love, care, tenderness, attention and warm embrace from their very early days of landing on this planet, then there would be definitely kinder, happier and more complete and emotionally mature adults, cognizant of their own worth, value and importance, inhabiting our world today!
There isn’t such a thing as too much love. Not in my world at least. Not when following my maternal instincts or even my pure logic in that matter. For parental love isn’t about spoiling and has nothing to do with firmness or strictness or about providing everything. It’s about knowing when it’s time to build wings for your child, when it’s time to show them how to use such wings and when it’s time to send them off to fly whilst you sit back and watch their flight! And it leaves little room for doubt that the most important part of the flight is to ensure the wings are strong and in excellent form for the flight that lies ahead. How? Through the building of a solid and balanced core, filled with elements of confidence, gratitude, passion, compassion, creativity, liveliness and serenity, a great sense of humour and a big kind heart! Parental love is about being what you wish your children to be. Be happy if you want them to be happy. Be kind if you want them to be kind. Be inspiring if you want them to be creative, be respectful if you want them to have respect. Be the first to practice all you preach or wish upon them! Be a living example of conscious and mindful living! Like by being out in nature, feeling content with small pleasures, feeling grateful with just being, paying attention to loved ones and living the moment, walking the planet with an energy that says “I feel whole, light, protected and well at all times…I feel good”! For you can never leave behind anything more important and you can never fuel this world with a more valuable thing than your lightful happy existence! For love is not in the past, neither in the future, love is dwelling in our hearts in our right now…Love is about creating more love…Love is about sharing love! So I’ll say it once more, one can never have too much of any display of all of that!!
On the other hand, I realize how these hugs of ours benefit me too! I want them too and I adore them so!!! No rule or school of thought will ever convince me to stay away from them! They give me life, they regenerate my cells! They ground me on earth and fly me to paradise all at once. They are my new happy place and truth be told I’ve never had a happier one! Consider the time in which a baby is in the not-walking/still-needs-to-be-held stage in comparison to his whole (hopeful long and happy) life ahead. That time is so little that I say holding your baby 24/7 for all 365 days of its first year will still not prove enough, let alone “too much”! Besides, I give you full credit darling that having been greeted to this world with all this expression of love, you shall, when the time is right, develop both the independency as well as the mature understanding necessary to glide this life with full grace, not only as a by-product and branch of the tree of love you’ve been blessed with and have received but also as a result of your very own inconceivably intelligent and wise nature. We humans are incredible creatures you know..! And we must start placing more faith in our amazing abilities than our inabilities! Always remember that! “And YOU my girlie, you are an incredible creature too aren’t you? You are a wise being that has all the answers, don’t you?!? Yes you do my angel, yes you do…!! You have so much to tell us and teach us all and fuel and inspire this world with…and mummy can see..! And mummy is looking so forward to listening to all that you have to say! Mummy can’t wait!” I say to you whilst I lean down and give you a gentle kiss.
So I shall hold you my baby, as tight as I can; I will hold you as often as you require me to and as much as I want to! Whenever it pleases you or whenever it pleases me! Because I know now isn’t a time for setting limits but a time for ample cuddles, now is a time of abundant love!! Because I know mummy’s hug is a healing place, (like any hug really is). Because I also know mummy’s energy found in her pure warm embrace can only do you good, making you a saner, healthier, calmer and happier person in your years and relationships ahead.
Because I know that love is all we need and there isn’t a thing called “too much love” or “damage by reason of having been loved too deeply”. Because you chose me as your mama and this is how I choose to welcome you into this world my darling…Because I wish to convey to you a feeling of safety accompanied by the loving message of how “you are so wanted, so treasured, and so very special to the place you have landed, to your mama and papa and to this entire world!”. Because I thought heaven was intangible to humans on earth and holding you I have discovered it’s not; because you make heaven tangible and bring paradise close, so close, to my life and to my heart.
My love for you has no beginnings and no endings,
Adoring you each day more and more,
Yours for eternity,
Your friend, your mama, me 🙂