My daughter is sitting right next to me, typing quickly. She’s wearing flannel pajama bottoms, I’m wearing flannel pajama bottoms, there the resemblance ends. How I gave birth to someone who can memorize anatomical systems, who speaks about “my cadaver,” well, let’s just say that becoming human is a mysterious process.
I get such comfort from her competence. To say nothing of her light copper ponytail and the pitch of her voice. To be precise, more joy than comfort in the physical.
Joanna Goddard posted this link, a photo series of mothers with their one-day old infants. When we got to the picture of a baby with eyes wide open, I said, “That was you. Hello. I am just born but I see you.” Even new, babies all look so different. I had forgotten that.
Adult children, once you’re done with the wakings up and the cryings about food and the refusals to wear this, or that, and especially the itchy hand-knitted sweater from Grandmama, remind me of a favorite piece of music. Played over and over, something new found every time. Babies are beautiful, we goo and gah, but mothers can find it hard to see cute when they are tired.
When babies grow up, I don’t think you lose the baby. Only now it can drive itself to visit you, and show you software that allows note-taking from a tablet computer, and hang upended on circus silks. Very little downside.
I’m lucky in my children, and forever grateful, thanking all systems for my good fortune. And listening for her feet sounding on the tile as she walks back into the kitchen.