Sunday, September 14, 2008


little fingers and ten little toes stuffed and swaddled in pink. Ten times ten I counted the soft, baby-blonde hairs on your perfectly round head. Within ten seconds of your bloody, hurried arrival I had fallen painfully, irreversibly in love with you and the first ten minutes of your heart-shaped mouth urgently suckling at my breast was strangely familiar, as if cradling you there was exactly what I’d been waiting for. I never dreamed I would look back on you ten years from that moment and wonder why it felt like only minutes had passed.

my baby daughter
you led me from selfishness
on gossamer wings

You mended my broken heart with tranquility and soft baby noises, as we lay together in my old bedroom, your face softly against mine. Even though I spent many nights crying and holding your small, warm body as you slept, you were completely unaware of any turmoil that existed in the adult world around you. You helped me accept the abruptness of motherhood with toothless smiles that cast warm light on my beautifully different body.

You not only endured but thrived despite my ineptness, inexperience and inabilities and you brought my father and me together again, in an entirely different kind of relationship. You taught me how to be needed and your grandfather how to be needed again. You filled my childhood home once again with smelly blankies, baskets of dirty baby clothes and all the crumbly, chewed-upon reminders that often follow behind children.

You reunited me, my father, sister and brother with love ten-fold.

And it was you who shot cupid’s arrow into your step-dad’s back. He saw the impish way you led me around on a string of affection and desperately wanted it tied around his finger too. Your wide-eyed helplessness caused his chest to expand protectively and his head tilted with curiosity and fondness at your dirty blonde curls and throaty laugh. You filled him with a desire to be somebody important to you and without ever saying so, you told him and his son that we desperately needed them.

You’ve given me ten years of experience in motherhood, and even now I often wonder how you’ve survived so brilliantly despite all my blunders and self-doubt. You were destined to be my first, my trial run, rallying around my knees and tugging on my sleeve as my parenting prototype took shape.

I’m so thankful you came to me then, wrinkly, warm and crying for milk. I’m so thankful to have you next to me now, long and muscular, growing and questioning this life and your purpose.

I love you Hannah. I love you more on this day than I ever dreamed I could love another.

note - For those of you who know us, you know her birthday was a week ago, but as luck would have had it, my computer got very sick and died. It was a sad, sad day. I cried, my husband cried. Then we got over it and I made him build me a new one.


Blogger mama said...

She is lucky to have you for a mother.

11:20 AM  
Blogger preTzel said...

GAH! She can't be TEN already? Where has the time gone? Yikes. She's as beautiful and loving as her mommy but you know that already.

Happy Birthday Hannah!! Welcome to a Decade of age. :D

2:10 PM  

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