Tuesday, November 24, 2009

so this is love

When Miya was first born I didn't feel love for her, at least not in the way that I had ever felt love for someone before. What I did feel was fiercely protective and absolutely amazed. I marveled at her and everything she did, from her tiny sneezes to the strong grip in her little fingers. I even marveled that she was breathing.

And while it may not have felt like love, I have never been so able or willing to sacrifice myself for someone before. In the first few weeks breastfeeding was difficult; my breasts were raw and bleeding. Each time she fed I gritted my teeth and curled my toes with pain. But she wanted my breast and I wanted to give it to her. When she couldn't settle I walked countless circles in our house, holding her little body in my arms as I sang to comfort and soothe her. When she would cry in the night, no matter what the hour or how tired I was, I responded to her.

Most of the people in my life whom I love, I love by choice. With my daughter, there is no choice. I have been committed to her since the first time I heard her heart beating inside me. With other people I wait to see if we will get along. But Miya and I get along, not always smoothly and not always without misunderstandings. But from dawn to dusk to broken nights, we get along together, moving in a dance that I am only just learning the steps for.

I don't love her for what she says or does. Yet at the same time I love the little sounds she makes, the way she experiments with her voice. And I love the little things she does - the way she chews on her toes when lying on the change table, the way she presses her cheek against mine when I pick her up after a nap, the way she tilts back her head to look up and me and give me a gummy grin...

I have never loved like this before. Because I do, because I can, and because I will, I feel so incredibly grateful.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

You are what you eat

Miya is working on a new look. It involves mixing a bit of cereal with some fruit or vegetable and then applying liberally to the face, hair, neck, hands and arms. For an extra flair she will sometimes dab it on her eyelashes. Who needs mascara when you have sweet potatoes?

Miya is also happy to share her fashionable accessories with our cats. It did not take long for Bogey and Bacall to realize that by hanging out under the high chair at mealtimes they get drops of cereal and the occasional spoon to lick. They also often come away sporting Miya's style with gobs of cereal on their fur and whiskers.

Thus far Miya has been generally preventing from taking her fashion to the streets as her outmoded mother usually wipes away each application before taking her daughter outside. But if you look closely you can usually find traces (hint: check behind the ears).

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

teddybear ears

The problem with not being able to dress yourself is that other people get to choose your clothes for you.

Miya has the additional indignity of having a mother who also likes to knit for her.

So it is that as the weather turns colder, Miya finds herself being carted outside with shoes that make her feet look humongous (her mother says she'll grow into them) and a hat that gives her teddybear ears.