Her little cry, so sweet and new, has already turned to a baby's cry. Where did my snotty, grunty newborn go?
It must have happened while we slept. While we dreamed of sleep, for sure, when sleep seemed forever away. It must have happened while I wished for her to sit up, or roll over, or coo for the first time. It must have happened while I danced around her, doing things only a mother would do, trying to achieve the first smile. It must have been then...
Was I not looking? Did I not keep my eyes on her the whole time?
I thought I meant to take captive every single expression she made, wrinkle of her nose, smell of her skin, and size of her toes. But somehow I didn't. Because here I am four months later, wondering what happened.
Last night we drove home from a birthday celebration. Night was pitch black, and the car was silent. A tiny bunny went bounding across the road, Ruben put on the breaks and we both stared at each other and smiled. A bunny. The symbol of our son. Our sweet boy, our bunny. For months after he died, I saw bunnies everywhere. It was God's reminder to me that he wasn't as far away as it felt. Has it really been that long?
Time. It replenishes, and it breaks our hearts all at once.
Watching our daughter go from a newborn to a baby reminds me of so many things. Sometimes I rock her and kiss her, and I just want to tell her everything. I want her to know that she is immeasurably loved. And not just by us. But by Him. The One who made her. I want her to know that she can stay a child as long as she wants. Don't grow up too quickly, love. And I don't mean just physically...
I want to tell her how hard her daddy works for her. Even if it's hard on us. I want her to understand, as I try to understand, that it's for us. For our future.
I want to tell her of a little boy that was once our only child. The boy I thought I would never stop hurting over. The boy she will meet one day. I want her to know his name, and say it often. My brother, Elias. I want her to know that our family includes that little boy. Always.
And my heart hurts because there are so many things I want her to know. To believe. And I feel like there's not enough time in the day for it all. I fear my slipping up and forgetting to pay attention will ruin it all. I fear my temper or carelessness will somehow mess up everything. I want to stop all the nonsense of this life, and just live the important things. But I can't.
At some point, I have to trust her with the One who loves her more than I. I have to trust she is in His hands. I have to trust that watching her grow up will be both a sacred and joyful experience, albeit bittersweet at times. I have to trust that my love for her will cover my mistakes; that He will cover my mistakes.
Is parenthood just some cruel joke? Some incredibly intoxicating experience that brings such joy, yet pain at once. My obsession with my daughter is so small in comparison to my Father's obsession for me. I can't fathom it. I will never understand it. But yet, it's true. To think of giving up my own daughter as Christ gave His son...that picture alone will make any mother shutter.
Oh sweetie, just embrace it.
You have eternity's time...