My daughter Molly was born in May, which meant that the whole summer stretched out before us in an endless string of days. They hung from the clothesline and danced in the breeze, each one a promise whispered into cupped hands.
There were evenings in the yard, searching the sky for bats. They turned into nights of catching fireflies and little boys running to examine their glow. There were birthday parties and visits from friends, my daughter passed from one set of admiring arms to the next. It was bliss.
But the days became shorter and the nights became cooler, and then there were no more fireflies dotting the sky. Fall was near, the school doors opened, and suddenly my daughter was my only company much of the time.
That was the year my oldest started 1st grade and my middle child spend the mornings in preschool. My baby, then, became the central figure in each day. It was quiet at first, and I wasn’t sure what to do with her, exactly, but we found our rhythm eventually.
As it turns out, babies make great company.
It’s true that I have two older children, but circumstances and stress and colic— my WORD, the colic— prevented me from just enjoying my babies. It was a gift, this time with Molly, and I’m so happy I had the opportunity to have so much one-on-one time with her as an infant.
Here’s the thing about babies: they’re pure love. They look at you with eyes that say they’re happy you’re around. What’s more, they look for you and notice when you walk in a room. Spending time with a baby is the most emotionally rewarding experience there is.
In my mornings with Molly I became an expert blower of raspberries and counter of those scrumptious fat rolls. I knew her birthmarks by heart and walked through the house singing her name.
Life doesn’t always unfold the way we anticipate. I never expected to be a stay at home mom but there I was, folding the sheets and filling the little tummies.
There I was each morning with Molly, so grateful to see her childhood stretched out before me in an endless string of days.
Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. She writes about all things toddler at Babble’s Toddler Times. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.