I wake to the sweet, raspy sound of your beautiful voice. It carries itself from your bedroom to ours, diminishing slightly as it makes its way across the center of the house. At the moment it resembles something somewhere between a cry and a laugh (or what your daddy calls a “craugh”). I know that If I lay here a little longer (as my sleepy self is inclined to do) it will eventually turn into a full-blown scream, complete with crocodile tears.
So I get up. Slowly, I make my way to your room and open the door, my heart beating to the rhythm of anticipation. Your eyes peer through the side rails of your crib. You’re seated in your usual position — your knees forming a “W” — and you bounce up and down with excitement as I approach.
As I reach down to pick you up, your lips part into a gorgeous grin. We sit down on the rocker to commence our favorite part of every morning: breakfast.
This is the part of the day when you’re the happiest. Your tummy is full, and so is my heart.
After nursing and changing you, we make our way back into the master bedroom. Daddy and Oskar are cuddled up next to each other, fast asleep. I set you down on the bed and you start to bounce and giggle, as if to say “wake up daddy and Oskar — it’s time to play!” (If you could talk, I’m pretty sure that’s what you’d be saying. I guess we’ll know for sure in a year or two.)
Daddy opens his eyes and smiles, while Oskar escapes to the other end of the bed. He’s not really a morning pup…
The alarm clock goes off. It’s set to “radio” and almost always prompts your tiny torso to dance to the tune of Bob Marley.
You love Bob Marley. Just like daddy.
“Breakfast,” I command, in a stern tone of voice.
Daddy gets up to feed Oskar. The three of you play while I start cooking. This morning’s menu: grain-free, sugar-free pancakes with blueberry sauce. Your favorite. Even though you already nursed, you’ll definitely want seconds — in the form of whatever-mama-and-daddy-are-eating.
We eat together as a family, and I can’t help but pause between bites for a few moments of quiet reflection.
I think back to that time when I didn’t want children. In those days, I couldn’t imagine giving so much of myself to another human being. Now, I can’t imagine not.
After breakfast, Daddy keeps you company while I work in our home office. As soon as you start to fuss, he brings you over for a nursing session. I type away for hours at my computer until afternoon hits, and if the weather is nice, we’ll break for a family stroll around the neighborhood.
Our days are simple as of late. But I can’t complain. It sure beats the original plan of returning to my full-time job after only six weeks of maternity leave, working eight hours a day and coming home to relieve daddy so he could head out for his night shift at the country club.
I wear you during our afternoon stroll. As we pass by our house and begin our second lap, your head rests heavy on my chest. Your eyes squint and your gaze shifts as you reach out your hand to identify a mysterious object in the distance.
“Daaa,” your soft voice asserts with confidence. There’s that rasp again. The prediction of our friends and family suddenly rings true inside my head: “she’s gonna be a singer like her mama.”
It’s the ordinary, everyday moments like these when I feel most thankful.
Thankful that I get to spend every day with you. Thankful that your dad is not afraid to take risks and that he challenges me to live outside my comfort zone.
A day in our life might be simple, but it’s far from comfortable. Your father and I have chosen to give up the security of a steady paycheck so we can be home, raising you, together. We started a business, spending thousands of dollars we didn’t have — with no promise of a return on our investment — so we could enjoy these everyday moments. It was a risk worth taking.
Simple doesn’t always mean easy. There are days when I wonder if I’m really cut out for motherhood. Most of the time, it’s pretty apparent that your dad is much more nurturing and patient than I am.
But I’ll take it. All of it. The easy and the hard. The good and the bad. The screams and the laughs. The tantrums and the dances. The soulful, reggae cries and the peaceful, raspy serenades. You are a beautiful mess of emotions and it brings so much joy to every. single. moment. that we get to walk this earth.
Night falls. We kiss you goodnight and I take you into your room for our night-time nurse. I sing all four verses of “Amazing Grace.” Sometimes, you hum along with me. While you drift off to sleep, I thank God for another day spent with you, daddy and Oskar. I pray for provision and believe it will come. But until then, I’ll take every day and relish each moment as it passes.