I have a real thing about journals. I collect them and keep them in a book shelf in my bedroom, all beautiful and blank, waiting for me to fill them with words. I love them and I get antsy whenever I think about not having access to them. It’s a problem. Really.
I recently pulled a half filled journal out of my nightstand drawer and was thrilled to find the journal I began when The Boy was an infant. I had been told for many years that it would likely be impossible for me to get pregnant, as I had been struggling with abnormal growths on my cervix for the better part of six years, so when he was born shortly before my fortieth birthday, to me it was nothing short of miraculous. From the moment he was born I knew that he would be my only child, so I wanted to keep a journal of his life and my experience being his mother.
The first entry in this particular book was written when he was four months old.
My sweet little T, as with all that I am and have, this is for you. I want to write down everything I can – all the special moments, all my thoughts and feelings, all of the wonderful things about you and how being your mother makes me feel – because as I lay nursing you recently, I realized that if I didn’t write it all down, you would never know it. My memory, while great, will doubtless fade with time, and the fact is that there is simply no one else who shares these memories with me, besides you – and you’re far too young to remember. I know it will be many years before you read this, if ever – and if you do read it, you may even have a child of your own by then – but I want you to know what you were like as a child, and I want to remember, as well. I want to remember how you loved to kick your feet, most of the time kicking me (smiley face), how you were so intent on learning all about your world that you sometimes did’t realize you were hungry until you were hysterically crying for food, and how talkative you were, especially in the mornings when you first woke up. I want to remember how much you loved to stand, even before you could sit up or roll over. There will be so many photographs of you – there already are – but nothing will capture the tears of that I cry at times when I look at you asleep in my arms or next to me on the bed. Nothing will capture how much you love diaper changing time or getting washed up (your toilette, we call it), or even getting your hair washed on bath night. You still aren’t so sure about the actual bath, but we’re getting there. And I’ll never capture on film the way your eyes widen and your eyebrows go up when you hear the chirpy noise your grasshopper toy makes. Nor the way your eyes roll back and you wiggle your eyebrows when you begin to nurse. No one but me will ever see that, and I want you to know it and me to remember it. I want this to be a joyful thing for you to read, a context for you, a piece of your history, and a reason to smile if for some reason I’m not still here when you read it. I love you so very much, my little T. I didn’t think it was possible to love someone as much as I love you. You are my miracle, the best thing I’ve ever done and it is my honor to be your mama. I’m so lucky to be able to help you and watch you grow. I love you, my little man.
Be kind to my sleep-deprived, postpartum, baby-obsessed self.