The Person I Waited For

Mondays and Wednesdays are B’s late days at work. He teaches evening classes those days and doesn’t get home until 7:30. So on those nights, I make dinner around 6:30 and then sit down at the table with Miss C by my side in her walker. I eat.

Monday night, I looked down at her while I ate and had one of those moments where you seem to be elevated over yourself, looking down at your life, which all of a sudden has taken on more permanence. Looking down at that little baby, I thought, “It’s you, the person I had been waiting for.” It’s hard to describe how I felt, as the knowledge that the child starring back at you is your own in an inextricable way is beyond what I can express with words. But she looked back, able to take for granted that I am her mother, unaware that there are relationships other than the ones she has with her father and me. Right now, we are all that she really needs.

I recognize this little girl as my own, and she recognizes me as her mother. It’s amazing how in sync we are with each other without really trying to be. This doesn’t mean that we don’t have difficulties; I think she’s had maybe one or two days in her whole life where she didn’t cry at all. Through all the crying and the sleeplessness and the shots and the gas, she is a happy girl because I can give her what she needs and she can trust me.

All I ever wanted was to have her so I could devote myself to her. I thought about the baby I would have someday long before I even became pregnant and I wondered who she would be. Even when I was a kid, I wondered what her birthday would be. Pick any random date, and I would think to myself, “Is this the day in 20 years I will celebrate my child’s birthday?” As she grew larger during my pregnancy, I constantly wondered what her face looked like and what her disposition would be. And now, all of a sudden, she’s here, looking right back at me. In a blink of an eye, the idea of a baby has become my reality.

It’s her.

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70 comments

  1. That’s your baby and you’re her mommy. Beautifully written ~~~

    1. Thanks! She’s a looker ;D

  2. Beautiful!
    And a great epiphany.

    1. It’s a wonderful feeling. Thanks, Guap!

  3. That’s so sweet. I remember being afraid that I wouldn’t connect with my daughter right away when we adopted. It was a little odd when they first put her in my arms. She looked around like, “Hm…this could be interesting.” Then all the other babies started crying, so I took her out of the room and we watched the car drive by out the window. We were both so lost, together. Thanks for reminding me.

    1. I had the same feeling when she was born, that I wouldn’t be able to connect with her. For the first week of her life, it seemed like all she did was cry (“seem” is the operative word; she was obviously a little fussy but I just didn’t know what I was doing at all.) But moms and their babies need each other. I feel like it’s an evolutionary function to just bond whether you try to or not.

  4. Oh my gosh she is just a doll!

    1. She’s very photogenic ;D Thanks!

  5. Yes, that where did you come from ??? never stops. (Well, not for at least 14 yrs, in my experience, so far.) Lovely post.

    1. Thanks! That’s what I’ve heard.

  6. Wow. This post got this cynical gal a little choked up. It is truly one of life’s great treats to watch our children grow and change over time.

    1. So, so true. It’s heartbreakingly wonderful.

  7. Emily,
    What a wonderful picture of your daughter. And a delightful post. To be recognized by your child…
    Eric

    1. It truly is the best feeling to have our eyes meet each other.

  8. Is it wrong to say our babies would make beautiful babies? It feels like there’s something wrong with saying that…

    To continue over from Twitter—20 goats, seven oxen, 14 bushels of wheat, and six acres of arable farmland. Twitter doesn’t allow enough characters for dowry haggling.

    1. Nothing wrong with that at all! I feel like “our babies would make beautiful babies” is what natural selection is all about.

      Now as far as this dowry, I may need to consult with my second cousin thrice removed to see if they can make a contribution. Also, our tribes will have to meet halfway between our respective towns for a handover of the goods. We should see if Orbitz offers any dowry-handover travel discounts.

      1. Based on my extremely thorough (read: cursory) research and admitted lack of knowledge of where you actually live, that halfway point would be Shelbyville, KY. Maybe they have a McDonald’s parking lot that would be a serviceable bartering location.

        1. Sounds good! Maybe we can squeeze some mint juleps into our Kentucky meeting.

  9. Fish Out of Water · · Reply

    This is lovely. That is all.

  10. It’s her! She looks worth the wait.

    1. Oh man, she was so worth it!

  11. Teresa Pate · · Reply

    Totally understand. Felt…..feel the same way about you. So happy for C and her mama.
    You and B ARE the most important people in her life. Can’t wait to see, hear, touch and smell her in person. Also miss you.
    Mom

    1. Miss you too. Love you, Momsy.

  12. This was beautifully put. I don’t think I could have said it any better. The love a mother has for her babies can be difficult to explain.

    1. Thanks, Anna! So nice of you to say that.

  13. I love this. I was just thinking something similar when I was putting So down for her nap today. You captured my feelings exactly.

    1. Thanks. It’s a wonderful, strange feeling, isn’t it?

  14. That was beautiful, Emily! And hits very close to home as my brother and his wife just had a beautiful baby girl this morning–Ella Madyss. I’ll def be sharing this with them.

    1. Wow! Congratulations to you all! What a beautiful name! Enjoy these first days when she is tiny and new :D

  15. Aww what a sweet little gal she is. She’s lucky to have such a good mom! :)

    1. Thanks, Lily! She’s an easy little girl to love.

  16. krugthethinker · · Reply

    This is so sweet. And she is more gorgeous every day! I think we are buying plan tickets this weekend: woot!

    1. I cannot wait for you to finally meet her! Haha I think y’all will get along well.

  17. Totally get this. My son is a little older, and there are the trying days when I feel like launching myself out a window, and then there are the moments when I catch his eye and he gives me the most breathtaking smile.

    1. “Launching myself out the window” sums it up nicely. I remember actually plotting my escape that way when she was just born. I’m glad I held out for the smiles, though.

  18. A beautifully sweet post. It is completely amazing isn’t it, the feeling that this is the way it is suppose to be, connected to this little person who came from me and will forever be a part of me.

    1. It really is amazing! I’m glad you got what I was trying so hard to say. The words that describe this special relationship just don’t really do it justice.

  19. She is so cute! :) I understand so much what you are saying! You put it into more eloquent words than I could. Mostly these days all people get is me pointing at him and saying “mine”. So tired. But so amazing. xoxo

    1. That works too, I think. Thanks for getting what I’m talking about! I felt a little clumsy typing it out because it’s beyond words.

  20. A gripping life · · Reply

    I know that feeling. When you finally have your own baby looking up at you and connecting it’s pretty miraculous. I do ancestry .com and I get weirded out thinking about DNA and how it connects us to people from hundreds of years ago. That DNA is in Miss C. She’s perfect. I feel like God knows her blueprint, knows every hair on that sweet head and knows that you’re the exact person, Emily, who should be her mother. It’s mind boggling. I look at that precious little face and these are some of the thoughts I have.

    1. OK, now I’m tearing up a little, Lisa :D You are so right! It is miraculous the way babies come from (what seems like) nothing and just change our world, completely.

      I really want to try ancestry.com. I feel like every time I ask my family about our genealogy, all I get are “he said, she said” stuff, no solid facts.

      1. For ancestry.com, which by the way is majorly addicting but worth doing for Miss C, all you need is your grandparents names. If you have a birth or death date, place of birth or death, etc. even better, but it doesn’t need much. After you put that info in, it will take off by itself and start revealing clues for you to open. It’s so awesome.

  21. Just what I needed to bring me back to what it’s all about after I was about to send mine back from whence they came for making like the 3 Stooges for 60 minutes in the back of the minivan. We may have gone from the quiet household gaze-a-thons to “LOOK AT ME WHEN I’M SPEAKING TO YOU, YOUNG MAN!” …but as you suggested, it’s the devotion that never changes. Thank you for a touching post, Mrs. Em.

    1. Thanks for your sweet words, SSM! I remember a comment you left awhiles back when I was pregs where you said that you kind of like it when your kiddos kick the back of your carseat because it reminds you of when they kicked you in utero. For some reason, what you said just now reminded me of that. Such a wonderful thought.

  22. Just lovely. I can totally relate. As soon as Eebs came out and she was put on my chest, I thought (after, “Holy crap, there really was a baby inside me”), “Of course. It was always you.”

    1. EXACTLY. I’ve been having that thought a lot recently. I think for awhile, I didn’t make the connection that the whole time I was pregnant, it was with C. Kinda silly to not think about that, but once the big picture is revealed to you it’s hard not to marvel at it.

  23. Although I am personally a little less maternal than a door stop, and I did the world a service by never breeding, it delights me so much when people that want children have them and are devoted to raising them well. You being the sincerely loving mother of a little girl as delightful as Miss C makes me hit the pause button on my ever present cynicism.

    1. Thank you for saying that. What a sweet thought! What you (supposedly) lack in maternal love you certainly make up for in general golden kindness.

      1. Awwwwwwwwwwwww Emily, people are going to get the impression that I truly adore the small fry (of others). Well, I have been known to give up my subway seat to them (when accompanied with a parent or guardian).

      2. If you’re a ballsy toddler that travels the New York subway system solo, then you deserve to stand.

  24. unfetteredbs · · Reply

    simply a beautiful post. motherhood is the greatest gift

    1. Thanks! I completely agree. It’s tiring, but it is tremendously rewarding.

  25. AM @ dearexpletivebaby · · Reply

    I think this is my favorite picture that you’ve posted!

    1. HA! Thanks. There were some others from this session of her little naked baby booty sticking up way in the air that were insane. But I don’t want to embarrass her too much when she gets older by putting her naked butt all over the Internet.

  26. I remember being pregnant with each of my children and wondering the exact same thing about their faces. I also remember the first time I looked at each of them and realized “You’re not a baby anymore!” You’re a little kid! And that’s always a little bit mind-boggling too.

    Everyone always says it goes fast, but in reality it goes FAST.

    1. So, so true. When she was first born, everyone always told me “don’t blink or you may miss something! They grow up so fast!” And honestly, in those first months when time drags on and you’re in a sleep-deprived haze, I hated hearing this. All I wanted was to fast-forward to the fun parts. But now that there’s a huge bag in her closet of clothes she’s already outgrown, I have to admit that everyone was right. It goes by so fast that I can’t even fathom it.

  27. Beautiful piece – and subject, of course!

  28. What a lovely post, right around my Kiki’s birthday! In my experience the “It’s you” moments never end, Glad you are enjoying your CeCe every step of the way. I’ll avoid that maudlin saying about how you will wish you could just get her back little if even just for a few moments.

    1. You don’t have to skip those sayings at all. I often find myself pining for her first days when she was just a tiny little waif. It goes by insanely fast. I blame the lack of sleep for messing with our perception of time.

  29. She’s pure sweetness. These are the days, the moments we need to grab ahold of before they grow up too fast.

    1. So, so agree. There are so many distractions these days but when I just sit down with her and concert my energy into her, I feel the time is much more valuable.

  30. [...] it in another way, what drives people to have babies? The Waiting puts it best in her post “The Person I Waited For“. If you enjoy the experience she describes (and mind you, you will only be able to really [...]

  31. I am so distraught right now because I just realized that SOMEHOW, you were deleted from my reader. Poof, Vanished, Gone. I normally blaze through my favs and didn’t even realize you weren’t in the mix anymore. GASP. I’VE MISSED SO MUCH! Catching up and loving all your tales lady !

    1. This happens pretty frequently, I think! WordPress is wonky sometimes and it randomly unsubscribes people. :P No worries.

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