Sunday, November 8, 2009
Catherine is my only girl. My youngest, my last. My baby. She turned one this week. Thus ends the shortest year of my life.
This is in contrast to my first year of motherhood. Jonah was a difficult baby. I was an unprepared and overwhelmed mother. That was the longest year of my life.
This last year has been different. Cate is easy and I have more knowledge, experience, and confidence as a mother. It has gone by in a blink of her cute hazel eyes.
I have been aware for some weeks that this anniversary was upon us. Not just in the linear, counting off 365 days sort of way, but mindful of the transient and irreversible. Catherine has changed so much. She is big and walking. Her precious littleness is wearing off. Oh, she is still precious, and still relatively little, but she is growing up and away from me everyday.
I can't help lingering over her, especially at bed time. I feel her warmth through her pajamas. The weight of her in my arms. The smell of her hair. Tonight, it was her hands. So soft. (They have never washed a dish.) Long fingers with dimpled knuckles. Tiny, tiny nails. I let her fall asleep on my chest. She's taken to doing that one or two nights a week. She cuddles in with her head tucked in under my chin. Our breath rising and falling together. Five minutes of heaven. Then she rousts herself, raises her head, and I know it is time to put her down. I know I must.