Saturday 2 February 2013

Tiny Little Baby Steps

She is growing up so fast. Every night, when I lie next to her in bed, waiting for her to drop off, she feels longer than she did the night before. Her clammy legs, which were once only as long as my index finger, now stretch down the length of my body. They are strong and determined, she climbs across me, ignoring my pleas for sleep.

The first time I held her in my arms, my eyes locked on hers. Her deep, dark and cloudy eyes. They seemed to be searching mine for answers. She felt like an old friend. I knew in that moment, that I could solve any of her problems. Now her eyes are big and blue and wide. They seem to soak up the world around her. They stare, they gaze, they look longingly at objects out of reach. They crinkle when she smiles. They fill with tears when she needs me. They look up at me all day long, still searching for answers. I look back at them and feel content.

The tiny hands I held in mine, with the tiny fingers I worried would break, have grown. I didn’t notice them growing, but they have. She interlocks her hand with mine, and I notice how big she is now. She squeezes my hand, and I squeeze back, amazed at how strong my baby is.

A newborn’s small red lips, puckered, rising gently as she breathed deeply in her sleep. Her lips part to reveal a gummy grin, she looked up at me as I change her nappy, to let me know I’m doing ok at this parenting thing. On other occasions, when I wasn’t doing so well, it was her mouth that let me know again. The bottom lip slowly stuck out into a pout, her chin wrinkled, and she started to cry. She cried to communicate because she couldn’t speak to tell me what was wrong. Now she’s older. She has words. Not many, but some. Not useful words, but words. She can’t tell me what’s wrong so she still gets frustrated, but she can tell me what noise a duck makes. Her smile reveals a mouth of shiny white teeth. She laughs loudly. She screams with excitement. She cries when she needs me.

The indescribable softness of a newborn’s feet must be felt to be believed. Those little feet have never walked on sand, stone or grass. They have not trodden on upturned plugs, or been stubbed on doors. They are brand new, perfect, exposed and loved. I lost hours to those feet. Stroking them, staring at them, kissing them. They seemed to sum up everything that was lovely in the world. And now, those feet have grown longer and stronger. They have kicked and pushed. They have been tickled. They have crawled. They have tapped and stamped. They have been kissed and held. And, most recently, they have walked. Those tiny feet I created, took their first steps yesterday. Tiny little baby steps. Nervous, awkward, difficult steps. The first of many.

I wonder where those tiny feet will take my little baby.

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