Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dear Anjali (first bath)

that first night you emerged into the air, i couldn't sleep.  urgently awake for 5 days straight, anticipating and anxious over you for 42 weeks before that ~ i wasn't about to close my eyes to the wondrous sight of you finally in my arms.   at 2 am the nurse came in on her rounds and scolded me, "you've been through a lot.  you need to sleep."  i smiled and nodded appeasement.  finally i tried to situate us skin-to-skin in the narrow bed to rest (and set my phone alarm to ring every hour to make sure you still breathed).  

as challenging as joyful, these first two months of your life so far.  you come with a steep learning curve for this momma so unfamiliar.  but you're a gentle and patient teacher, and i wake (most) each day ready to learn more.  

then i give you your first bath.  i draw the water too hot at first and you immediately scream alarm when i dunk your foot.  but when the temp is right, i slowly smooth water over your legs and gradually lower them in.  your eyes dart around the room with this unfamiliar sensation and i lean in to grab your gaze.  i speak the soothing mommy language your smiles have taught me.  you search my face with question to discern your happiness and safety.  our eyes remain locked as you relax into enjoyment and ease.  i am caught with giggles that make my heart gulp for air as i am amazed at the trust you place in me, and your wondrous angelic newness.  i am honored to be here with you in this moment, to share these first impressions with you ~ the world as huge and important as perfectly warm water in the bathroom sink.  i sit down to dry you and you melt into my breast for a deep soothing meal.  i glide my fingers over your soft soft skin and whispery fine hair, and am taken back to that first night, welling over with gratitude and awe-filled tears.

and this is just the beginning. .   


alyssum said...

oh, dear Tiff, this made me cry. it's so beautiful. I'm so so happy for you.

Frank Jones said...

Thank you for sharing these things with all of us. This motherly tenderness that you have with Anjali is so beautiful, so wonderful. I feel very privileged to have a peek into your experience. May you and your loved ones be blessed.

alyssum said...

I read it again today. And I still cried! happy.