Somehow our new little family is already four months old. Life with Lilybird gets better everyday, although I’m already sounding like the typical parent who misses the times when she was smaller (I know this sounds unbelievable to anyone who doesn’t have a baby, as she is undeniably still quite a little thing). Most days she seems to figure out how to smile even bigger than the day before. And when her face lights up because she recognizes me? It seems like I’m just learning what joy feels like. (Of course that huge smile might just mean she’s thinking what Anne Lamott fears all babies think when they see their mother, “Oh good, the chuck wagon is here.”)
I’m also not so completely exhausted every moment of the day now. I’m still tired more than I’m not, but I am definitely starting to get enough rest that I can enjoy the little moments—like last night’s prolonged bedtime.
Last night she got sleepy even earlier than usual, 6:30, and she feel asleep almost instantly when I nursed her in bed. However, rather than staying asleep, she pulled a catnap. After a short ten minutes, she woke up refreshed with a second wind. She lay there next to me, blowing raspberries (her new favorite hobby other than finger-eating) and making fun little noises. Stephen came in to check on my progress to find a wide-awake baby. He laid down with us, and I sighed deeply, realizing my dinner would be very cold by the time I got to it.
“This time isn’t going to last long,” he said, sensing my frustration that bedtime was taking so long. “We need to appreciate every day. Carpe diem. Well, Carpe Baby, at least.”
We had a good laugh at the idea of seizing the baby (might that be child abduction in Latin?), and after a while they both fell asleep. Pali came in to check on us (it’s very fun to see Pali and Lily start to interact with each other), and she jumped up on the bed too. The bed started to feel quite full (it’s only a double bed).
After a while, I was the only one awake, squeezed between my sleeping family. This happens frequently, and sometimes I feel quite put upon—as if everyone needs something from me while I just continue to give and give. Put this time it felt different. It felt holy.
It was one of those moments when time slows and for just a breath, I remember I’m blessed. A quote from Meister Eckhart, the 13th century Christian mystic, came to mind. “If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is 'thank you,' that would suffice.”