today this little girl of mine (can hardly believe it still, that she is mine) is one month old. looking back, it looks like so many long, weary days that added up to one very fast month. we lived at least two weeks in a total fog of fatigue and hormones and pain and shock and the confines of one room. and she was there, and i was seeing her, but she was still so surreal. i didn’t know quite how to place her, and i was still so distracted by the discomfort of my own body, the rollercoaster of my emotions, the mistaken-ness of my expectations, and the ungodly fatigue.
but now she is becoming more wholly she. i am seeing her now, more truly. she’s being integrated into the fabric of my heart and my days. she is always near to me, usually in the baby sling or latched on for a feed. she sleeps with us many nights. she is the first and the last person i see each day. i look in her eyes and see that she is a person already, and that what lies ahead of us here is a long life of seeing that person unfurl, just as her tiny fists are opening more often these days, revealing star-like hands composed of long fingers. she is alert much more these days, and for longer periods. her blue eyes so wide and serene and she looks at the shifting shadows and flickers of light around her. she recognizes our faces and our voices and responds to both with wide smiles and shining eyes (these are not just gas bubble smiles). she makes sweet little noises – grunts and purrs and coos and lip-smacks. she loves to be outside, carried in our arms or in the baby sling, or laying on a blanket in the sun.
i love her so. i tell her this every day. i tell her, also, that she is my favorite daughter. i tell her these things even when she is red with displeasure and screaming in my face to be fed.
a while ago, before she was born, i was pondering parenting a bit, and what a mammoth undertaking it is. there are a zillion books and techniques and tips, and lots of those things will come in handy when she is older and able to reason and requires discipline. but for now, she is an infant and completely helpless and unable to be spoiled. so what is my job as a parent right now? i have felt the Holy Spirit teach my heart that my job right now with hazel is this: to show her the Father’s heart. which looks, i think, like this: to hold her, to speak truth over her, to tell her whose she is, to respond to her, to carry her, to intercede for her, to lay myself down for her in a million small ways… so that she may KNOW in her deepest, and perhaps unconscious being, that she is loved and secure and worth great sacrifice. because that’s how my Papa loves me, and in these early, formative days of hazel’s life, i want her to soak in the love of that Papa as it comes through me, so that she will be molded by that Great Love.
which means that every day i have to ask Him to let her know His love through me. and He’s faithful to do it.
what will we do to celebrate her first month of life? she is wearing blue jeans for the first time (oh, adorable tiny baby blue jeans). and her daddy and i will eat the chocolate cake we’ve been storing in the freezer since before she was born, and we will cuddle her.