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.