Monday, January 31, 2011

The gift, the puzzle, the story

Every day, I unwrap a new present. Every day, I start working on a new puzzle. Every day, I start reading a new story.

I watch her eyelids flutter open, tiny eyelashes on the verge of curling. Her mouth starts making its rounds, readying her tongue to bring breakfast in. Then, as I peel off her swaddling, her long arms jolt perfect hands to action. Unknowingly (or maybe just unknown to me), she starts conducting the beautiful music we'll sing and dance to together today. Her legs, so humanly frog-like, direct feet, once planted firmly in my ribs, in a rhythm all her own.

I pick up my precious gift and we start our dance of this day together. Like a video game outdated by the time she's old enough to play it, the dance is as much a game, a puzzle even, as art.

How long will you eat this time, baby? Which side will be your favorite? Are you really finished or just taking a break? Where is that burp, princess? I need to hear it before you get more. This worked yesterday, are you already that different? This morning you were snuggly, now you're acting like you drank 5-hour-energy. Will you want to be changed before you go to sleep, or will the cold air wake you up too much with hiccups and sobs? Will you sleep flat, roll to your side, demand to be held or just keep your beautiful eyes on me or your dad? How long will you sleep this time, my dear? Do I have time to take a nap or a shower, start some laundry, finish a meal snack bite? Yes, I'm laughing at your snores. Is there anything else to do about them? How did you get even cuter since lunch? Apparently, kissing your cheeks only makes them sweeter.

She answers me in coos and grunts and squeaks, and, yes, sometimes even cries. She tells me her story as best she can.

This story is both new and familiar. The characters, the plot twists, the adventures of the princess. All of them shifting slightly like the shadows of nursery curtains swaying to the fan's beat. It's all I can do to remember yesterday's version, which is already overgrown with the daughter of today. The end of each story is the same, a wonderful same I will never tire of.  She drinks me in and I eat her up. We change each other. Connect each other to life, now and to come.

This is life. A gift, a puzzle, a story full of love and mystery.


  1. Oh...this warms my heart and makes me smile! I love how you are sharing Ayla with us! #SOHAPPYFORYOU!!!

  2. So now you know... why I was, am, and will continue to be speechless through the tears. And to think you've only begun. I love you, Sis, and couldn't be more happy for you or proud of you. I can't wait to meet our Jewel. I could stare at her all day.

  3. I am so happy for you and these precious moments you are experiencing. I gave you an award on my blog.

  4. I am so happy for you and these precious moments you are experiencing. I gave you an award on my blog.

  5. Absolutely beautiful... you've captured life with a newborn so perfectly. What a miracle! Wonderful post and precious baby girl. Much love to you!

  6. Anna, I am so happy for you and John that you got your hearts desire, it is one of my answered prayers for sure! I love how you can capture in words what we as mothers feel especially as our new precious gifts come into our lives! You are so Blessed, enjoy each moment it goes way to fast and before you know it John will be walking her down the aisle... I know that is overload for your mind now but for me I can remember the day I had Amy and it went so quickly! Love you dearly Stella

  7. Seriously, tearily, so happy for you. Ayla is simply beautiful! I hope I get a chance to visit her (and you) sometime soon. I love you, old friend.


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