In the words of Lou Reed, today was “just a perfect day…” I’m glad I spent it with you.
I feel this way every day, of course – but today just felt extra special and extra fun and was so wonderful – reminding me of all the blessings we have in our life all at once. Namely – family, and our love for each other.
We started by going to your weekly play group – a baby sensory class, and this week the theme was under-the-sea. You wiggled excitedly in my arms as soon as we arrived, eager to get amongst all of the toys and fun. There was a ball pool; a tunnel to crawl through; inflatable crabs and fish; mirrors; a bouncy air bed covered in fluffy blankets and loose silky sheets to clamber over; and all sorts of rings and rattles and cups to shake and bang together. I love to watch you explore, interact with other babies, and squeal in excitement. You do this amazing thing where your legs go straight and rigid and your fists clench and your mouth makes a short, sharp ‘oooh’ sound. It’s one of my favourite things.
When it was mat-time, the teacher brought out bowls of sand (ground oats) with shells and pebbles and sticks to explore… and then, came the bubble machine. I watched you, amidst a room full of other mummas and babies and noise, and felt the world slow right down and go quiet for a few moments. I watched you stare with such wonder, at the bubbles floating down around you. I saw your amazement, your curiosity, your singularly-focused concentration, as you absorbed this new, wonderful, experience. I watched as your little hands reached up to try and touch them, and your confusion when they ‘disappeared’ in front of your eyes. I watched you look back to me for reassurance, and then I watched you take off to chase the other bubbles with glee. And the little bubble I had been in with you for a few moments, burst too, and I was back in the room with everyone else. Wiping my overflowing eyes.
You make me see the world anew, baby. I hope we continue to be amazed by bubbles and magic for a long time to come .
‘…feed animals in the zoo…’
After class, we snuggled in the car and I gave you a bottle of milk, then you slept as we drove out West to meet Aunty Heather, cousin Noah, and cousin Leo, for our usual Friday fun at the zoo. Today, on this perfect day, Granny was meeting us there too. Granny, her girls, and our boys.
We wandered through the trees and bushes and, for the first time in all of the months I have been taking you to the zoo, you saw the animals for the first time. We went through an ‘Aussie encounter’ where the kangaroos and emus and birds came really close to us. You were so excited and squealed and whooped and clenched your fists and kicked your feet and I felt my eyes well up once again. My heart was so full it ached.
We had lunch and then ice-creams and you had a fluffy, whilst we sat and watched the elephants have their lunch. I remembered being a little one myself, watching Dumbo and being so moved by the love between mumma elephant and her baby elephant (actually, I still get very upset when I remember they had to be separated and have never felt brave enough to watch Dumbo again since!). From as young as my first memories, I had always wanted to be a mumma and have a baby of my own. And now I do – and I can tell you: my life is perfect. Not because I have everything I want, and not because I am without struggles or challenges (because I don’t, and I am not) – but because I have you.
‘…you made me forget myself… I thought I was someone else… someone good…’
Before I had you, baby, I thought I had it all together – I knew my mind, my heart, the direction I wanted my life to go in, how I wanted to live my days… and I still know those things, but you have mixed everything up and are now showing me things… showing me myself… in a completely different way. You are showing me the whole world in a different light. In so many lights, and colours, and shades. You are showing me old things with new eyes. And I am learning that life isn’t good – life is. It just is. And we are what is good. We are what makes this life, this world, and these experiences we have extraordinary. Thank you for reaching through to the heart of me and making every day absolutely perfect.
‘you’re going to reap just what you sow’
With you I am waking up in the same bed every day, making the same porridge, unloading the same dishwasher, stacking the same plates, washing the same clothes, opening the same box of plastic and wooden toys, playing the same nursery rhymes, going on the same walk, on the same footpath… and I am doing all of this, every day, with new excitement and new wonder. In these perfect days with you, my porridge is the most delicious thing to have ever been tasted. Getting dressed is so exciting and playing with scraps of materials and egg boxes is simply hilarious. When we go on our walk, I am excited to see what birds we might meet. How many new blossoms the trees might have now. I am seeing so much more, with you.
Later this day, we drove out to the farm and met Uncle Paul and Aunty Megan who had just got home after their travels in south east Asia. You recognised them and reached out for cuddles. Soon Granny and Grandad were there. Uncle Joe came over. And Aunty Heather, Uncle Reuben, Noah, Leo, daddy…. they were all there too. We were all together, sharing a giant pan of lasagne and freshly made tea and cake (Aunty Heather’s speciality – we’ll need to watch that!) And I had another moment of life slowing down…
The world around me was full of noise, lots of noise!, colour and smiling faces – and I just saw you: chin high, cheeks round, eyes in their crescent moon shapes. Knowing, and for the first time I saw this knowledge in you, that this is your family. This is love. This is your little place on this vast earth. And no matter where you go, how far or wide, I hope you know that we are always here. Wherever here is – you are part of it. We are yours. All of us.
‘…weekenders on our own it’s such fun’
And then we went home. Your daddy dressed you in one of your cuzzie’s PJs, and he tucked you up into the car-seat, before we drove slowly home and snuck you into bed. We drove slowly as it’s a long way home from the farm, and it was dark, and we were tired and in separate cars – so I enjoyed the slow drive, following your daddy, you sleeping behind me, under the light of the moon.
And then it was us 3 – a perfect night following a perfect day, you woke at 2am and wouldn’t settle… so we brought you into our bed and, for the first time ever, you slept soundly between us until morning.
I woke with a pounding headache, from disturbed sleep in an awkward sleep position and too much sugar (cake) the day before, with you sitting up and staring into my eyes with a beaming smile. You reached for my face, grabbed my cheeks, and some of your drool went into my mouth.
Another perfect day had begun. I’m so glad that I spend them with you,