I slept through the first moments of her life, lost in an anesthesia cloud. My first time to see her, too, is lost in that haze. I have seen photographs of myself that I do not remember as real events.
In the same way, my memory of life without her is hazy.
Two weeks ago we grew from a family of six (including, of course, the dog) to a family of seven. Husband, wife, one dog, two boys, and two girls. Two GIRLS. In a family so steeped in boys, this still amazes me. Amazing also: two boys with matching cowlicks crowning their foreheads, two girls with matching dimples in the left cheeks.“Look at this, Mom,” Sawyer said. “Her toenails are the smallest things I’ve ever seen. They are so very tiny. Look!” He lit up while holding her, his second baby sister, tracing her pinky toenail, hardly larger than the freckles that sweep his cheeks and nose.Cooper brings Quinlyn gifts as she sleeps in a bassinet: a plastic fireman, a cereal bar, a piece of dog food. We will have to keep explaining to her about choking hazards, though she won’t yet understand it, and hopefully the sweet gestures will continue in a safer avenue.
Lincoln brings an extra blanket to her and tucks in her tiny toes which match his own. They are Rob’s toes, long and thin.
I write this with her tiny body sprawled across my chest, the smell of new baby rising from her soft hair. I missed the smell of newborn, which faded so quickly from Cooper. She is already a little girl in only a year’s time.
These are the sweet days, the chaotic days, the make-a-mess-and-don’t-care-if-we-clean-it days. We are expanding and growing, our joints and hearts a little out of sorts from being filled fuller than they were before.
These are the precious days—but then, shouldn’t they all be precious? Shouldn’t I number each one and call it a blessing?
The truth is that some days are easier to call blessed. Some days carry a reward with them that make them feel like a blessing. Other days make you claim your belief in it because the fighting and the crying and the dishes in the sink and the broken things and the bills make you doubt or question or worse—they make you wish for another day.
My prayer should be this simple: let me count this day as blessed. Let me see it as these photos, beautiful and perfect and precious, a quilt square in a whole, beautiful tapestry of a life still being sewn together by greater hands than my own. Perfect in their imperfection. Beautiful in their chaos and clamor.