May 2, 2017

Baby Girl

In the middle of April--all the leaves reaching up and out above the marsh, the ground covered with green shoots and blades, the air full of fresh breath, the sky blue with rain--our daughter was born. We named her Charlotte. And to us, she is sweeter than anything else that is clean and fragrant and hopeful this spring.

With my first child, words came naturally, and fast. I felt a need to say all the things, to record somehow the way I was feeling, the way it all seemed, how particular were the moments I spent getting to know him, getting to know myself as a mother, getting to know the newly defined world. I reread those musings now, and they still feel exactly right. I can remember who I was when I wrote them. I can remember how that version of the world felt, as viscerally as I can touch and sense my own skin.

But with this baby--there is less urgency. I'm not sure exactly why this is, as she will be my last child. I know she will never be eight pounds again, her days of being seven pounds already something that slipped away with April. I know there will come a day when I will realize her sounds are less murmurs and more requests. When her gaze is less dreamy and more direct. When her cheeks are not this impossible softness. I guess, this time, it is more about being still, being quiet with her, watching her eyes blink open and shut, thin petals blooming in my arms.

Tonight, the maple leaves are wide enough that they obscure everything but my neighbor's twinkling porch light. All winter I have watched its reflection in the ice and water of the marsh, a kind of star: Here a child would be born. Soon the leaves will wave so thickly that everything that came before them will be memory. Which is why, I think, I watch that shimmering light tonight upon the water, beautiful and mysterious, with me like this, in its perfect and transient form, right now.


11 comments:

  1. She's beautiful, as are your words. Thank you for letting us know of her birth. I can't quite get over her hair. I've always thought dark-haired babies especially appealing.

    Whether or not your spring has come, there's surely enough warmth in your world just now to make the weather irrelevant.

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    1. Thank you, Linda. And her hair! I know. It's always the thing people notice first, and I admit I touch it all day long.

      It's a special time, indeed.

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  2. Emily:

    May God bless Charlotte and your entire family. We are blessed with your sensitive words and insights, again, and always.

    ~ Richard

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    1. Thank you! I always appreciate your support, Richard.

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  3. Congrats Emily. She is beautiful.

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  4. Oh, Emily, Charlotte is stunningly beautiful. That hair, oh, that dark dark hair.

    Your words, as always, speak of your deep love for this child and for appreciating the moments of life.

    Congratulations to your entire family!

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    1. Audrey: thank you! I still think of what you wrote here after my son was born -- how yours were now off at college and elsewhere, and that it goes by so quickly. I'm remembering that especially this second time around, and appreciating the quiet moments.

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  5. Emily,
    Charlotte is so beautiful. Looking at her photo makes me think of all the joy that lies ahead. Congratulations!

    Enjoy your days - and nights! Although the magnificent magnolias have come and gone, the fragrant lilacs, cherry and apple blossoms, bluebells, and oh, so much more are bursting with loveliness. And, the full moon - the full moon in spring is glorious. There is a wonderful sky sheet to wrap yourself in every day.

    A little shop talk: I just finished Eula Biss' book, No Man's Land, and I really, really enjoyed it. It did leave me with a few questions, but there was so much to admire in the book. I especially appreciated her notes at the back of the book that gave one just a hint of her thinking and process. When you feel like you have time to read essays, and if you haven't read her book, I highly recommend.

    Take good care.

    All the very best to you,
    Jacey

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    1. Thanks, Jacey. I am so so thankful that she's a spring baby. What a beautiful time to be born!

      And thanks for your thoughts about No Man's Land. I've been trying to figure out which of her collections to select, and this might be it. If you're looking for a recommendation, try Krista Tippett's Becoming Wise. It is the best thing I've read in so long, not necessarily for the style (although that's good, too), but more so because of how rich the THOUGHT was on every page. So good. I'll say more about it in my next "What I've Been Into" post.

      Hope you continue to find yourself writing and reading more than not!

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    2. Thank you so much for the book recommendation, Emily. I'm always looking for good recs! I'm reading The Song Poet by Kao Kalia Yang right now, and I'm enjoying it very much, but I'll be sure to add Tippet's book to my TBR pile. I am reading and writing more than "usual," but it still feels like I'm hardly doing much of either activity. Time slips away even faster these days, it seems.

      Keep enjoying every single moment with your little ones and family. Time flies, which is a cliche but also a truth.

      Take care,
      Jacey

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