Some days are better than others. They just are. The sun shines in a blue sky from dawn, and you wake up feeling rested. Or at least partially–perhaps an illusion of rest–after a night of nursing and responding even subconsciously to baby coos, babbles, hand claps, and of course cries. Some days you follow your toes. Some days you follow your nose. Some days you might follow your breath, in that one-pointed awareness that enlivens your being. It keeps you in the present. It allows you to check in with your emotions, it kindles your deepest thoughts.
Most days you need to eat, and you cook. You cook three meals a day, plus snacks. You cook for your baby. You cook for you and your husband. All meals need to be quick nowadays. You make scrambled eggs with kale for breakfast, so baby eats the whites as well as the yolks (as well as the greens). You strive to eat protein for lunch, and you get creative for dinner, meaning you think up dinners that have a prep time of under twenty minutes, leaving the rest to the oven, the grill, etc.
Some days you do laundry. Some days you do yoga. Some days you re-organize the house, water the plants, give yourself a much-needed shower. Some days you bake banana coconut chocolate-chip cookies. When it’s ready, as in bubbly and deliciously sour, you pour your kombucha batch into brown glass bottles that don’t let sunlight in. You add a slice of ginger, a mint leaf or two here, a sprig of rosemary, a raspberry or two there to give it special flavors.
Some days you are more tired than others. You try to nap and can’t fall asleep. Then, the second you plunge into sweet rest, a piercing shriek from your baby startles you onto your toes. Some days you cry at the drop of a hat. You just do. Some days you are impatient and super emotional. When your husband speaks to you in his soft voice, you thunder back: “what? I can’t hear you!! And that’s the mildest reaction, you recount.
On all days you are up by seven, minus one, (or sometimes two hours). You get your baby after she calls you. You nurse and change her. Your heart is brightened by her radiating smile when she sees you. You call to her: “Buongiorno Principessa” as you approach her room. You fall in love all over when she says DA-DA, when she claps her hands, when she kisses her bear, or possibly you, in the air.
You look at her and feel so blessed, so grateful. Later you walk together. You walk around the lake, you lie with her in the grass. You see what she sees. You point at what she points at. You watch her grab her feet and giggle. You watch her strive to roll over. As the months roll by she sits, she crawls, she pulls onto her knees, she tries to stand.
Every day, three times a day, you clean the table and the floors from smears of oatmeal, avocado, blueberries. You wipe your baby’s mouth and hands while she screams as though you were sacrificing her to the gods.
Every day you hold her. Your wrists ache on and off. So does your back. Your hips need multiple yoga and massage sessions to loosen. You hold her anyway. You carry her up and down stairs. You rock, and nurse and hum at night. In the day you swing in the swing with her, feeling bliss as her little body presses against yours. You watch her from behind as she swings. You imagine what lies hidden, ready to unfold in her tiny persona. Every day, you still can’t believe it.