Dear Little Spoon,
You woke this morning to celebrate your five month birthday with a rakish cough, low fever, and chills. Your first cold. Something I have tried to protect you from; illogically thinking I could hold it off beyond your first birthday, your second, maybe even your third. Unfortunately, it’s inevitable. Kids get sick. Even mine.
We went to see our pediatrician; a slight woman with an easy smile and reassuring air. She reminded me that overall, you are a really healthy baby. When I said I would stop worrying so much once you weren’t so small, she laughed and said, “You will always worry. We all do.” It wasn’t until I was driving home with you that I noticed the deep crease between my eyebrows. I took a deep breath, tried to relax, and will it away. I am certain you are here to teach me that there are many things in this life which are beyond my control, beyond the grasp of my willfulness.
I have spent the day holding you as you cough and cry and suck on the ears of your stuffed bunny. I wish there was more that I could do for you. This too, is another milestone, like your two bottom teeth which have poked through your gums this month, and your ability to roll over and to make us laugh. If there is one thing that being a parent to you is teaching me, it is to accept those things which are beyond my control with a sort of resolute grace. It is to remember that even when I am worried about you or about our family, comparatively things are pretty good. There is no “perfect” anything — and for the first time in my life, I am beginning to feel okay with that.
I am so fortunate to have such a strong and joyful little girl in my life. You are sitting up (mostly) all on your own these days, and are very much ready to be moving about on your own. You love your walker and jumping toys, and have figured out how to scoot yourself about and bounce in them. Your favorite game right now is to sit up in the bath and hit the bath water, trying to make each splash travel farther than the one before. You wake up smiling, and spend your day wrapped in squeals and laughter. You are trying to figure out how to kiss, we think, as you often will put your mouth against our cheeks and grin when we carry you — your own attempt to emulate the kisses we smother your cheeks with. You are learning to blow raspberries, which you think is about the funniest thing ever. You are fascinated with your feet still, and often put both of them in your mouth at once. (I envy your flexibility!) You are determined to figure out everything which you encounter, and I’m pretty certain that somewhere down the line, we will come home to find that you have taken apart the toaster, or the car, just to discover how it works. I love spending each day watching you learn, and seeing how in love you are with the whole world. If I could capture a tiny piece of that clear-eyed love and hold it in a mason jar where I could look at it, I’m pretty sure I would be happy forever.
It has been five months, but I feel like I can safely say that the three of us are finally figuring things out; falling into the comfortable rhythm of day to day living, with all of the newness and apprehension worn smooth as a river stone, and replaced by a sort of quiet and predictability which seems to calm all three of us. I am trying to remember that feeling of peace when I start to worry, and when things go wrong. Because there is no “wrong”, and no “right”. And there certainly is no “perfect”. There is only grace and love, and the joy that comes from understanding both — which I think you do, perhaps more than I ever will.
Thank you for teaching me so much. I love you.