ten weeks. where they coo at you, sleep for slightly longer stretches in the night (slightly being key here), and occasionally catch your eye to smile so wide at you– you forget all the pain your body ever endured bringing them into this world. ten weeks. with arms and legs getting cute little baby rolls as they start to fill out and when the sound of your voice registers in a special way that can calm tears by just saying, “mama’s here.” it’s a sweet spot for sure in the stretch that is this newborn madness.
the love each of my children has allowed me to feel is difficult to express. and the way it grows and continues to grow, with every passing day, is something i’m surprised by when i stop to think about it long enough. i loved you so much the moment i met you, or held you, or kissed your chubby cheek for the very first time. it wasn’t possible to imagine a greater amount of love there. but then the next day comes. and the week after that. the first birthday, first steps, first day of school and all of life after that. and that love that was so great in that first moment of being acquainted– it’s somehow greater now. it seriously has me asking “what is life!!!!?!?!?!?” when i really try to fathom it. it’s just weird. and crazy. and totally fitting. it just makes sense even if i’m making absolutely no sense right now trying to artiulate this.
i was changing two diapers and dressing two babies on my bed yesterday morning when eleanor opened my bedroom door and walked in. “hi mama!” she said with her pony tail bouncing through the back of her baseball cap. her shirt was covered in sweat and she had the biggest smile across her face. it was still early in the morning, and she’d just been at tennis lessons. “papa dropped me off downstairs and let me come up with his keys! he took the boys to get bagels down the street.” she was very proud of herself that she’d let herself in all on her own. “are you surprised to see just me?” and i was. but she looked so old and mature and basically like a teenager that it wasn’t so surprising at the same time. who knows where we’ll be when my kids are old enough to be coming and going on their own, but i suddenly had this flash forward vision of it all happening… of them coming through my bedroom door to say hello and then leaving through that same door out into the world with their own set of apartment keys. taller versions of them, grown versions. to be honest, it was kind of terrifying to walk through in my head. it’s just hard to acknowledge sometimes how quickly it all goes by. how these baby girls are ten weeks old already, how they’ll be sitting up and eating solids before i know it and on to crawling and talking and then basically wandering into my bedroom with a set of keys looking more grown than when they’d left an hour or two before.
all i can do is try to savor the time now. and prep them to be the best versions of themselves for when they do leave this little apartment nest and wander out that door and come and go as life would have it. and i start to think, am i crazy?! as i find myself praying on occasion for the people i myself have never even met yet but who will be instrumental in my childrens’ lives in the future: friends, teachers, love interests (oh gosh, writing this publicly is making me think i am crazy!). but it’s like, “heavenly father, i’m trying here and prepping them to be good people. please have them find other good people.”
i remember hearing this quote once about how being a mother means you have decided forever to have pieces of your heart walking around outside of your body. and i so feel that. and it’s a given to know each of my five little ones will go through difficult things, their own hard moments, heart break, hurt… it’s selfish to say but sometimes i wish i could keep them ten weeks old forever. in my arms. safe. warm. loved. at the same time, loving them means allowing them to grow. and eventually, grow up. fortunately, my oldest is only seven and a half. HA! thank goodness! i still get to blink a couple of more times before we’re giving eleanor her very own set of apartment keys and holding our breath while she’s off on her own.
and these baby girls, our littlest. hopefully by the time they are walking out of mama’s bedroom door and into the world, they’ll have three other examples from their older siblings to look to in the best of ways. and those older three will look out for them when they are all out there together, outside of mama’s arms and home. it’s the one piece in this entire thought process that leaves me feeling confident sending pieces of my heart out into the world… that those pieces of heart will love each other so much, they’ll take care of one another, love and protect one another when i can’t be there to do the loving and protecting.
GAH. i have to just stop now and go find some cookies before i think about this anymore. but ten weeks. ten weeks! this really is a sweet spot in this motherhood ride and i’m thankful to be experiencing it once again. i love them so much. all five of them. my davis five!;) my five biggest blessings. my loves.