Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Firsts.

Lily is now six months old and with that milestone has come a slew of "firsts". She just took her first flights to the West Coast, she has begun sitting up (with the occasional sway, sag and plunge), she says mamamamamama, and dadada, she can expertly put her left foot in her mouth and the other day just as I picked up a bottle of Alan's preferred red wine she clapped. With every first it's incredible - they're moments that mark the culmination of weeks of attempts; erratic hand movements, elusive feet, and sounds without such specificity. I was truly overjoyed when she clapped, as I do it frequently when we listen to music and she has studied the movement intently for over a month but only observed. Occasionally I'd see her hands flex open and closed as she watched me do it but that was it. You can see the wheels turning when she fixates on something, so to see the final connection made was awesome. I was ecstatic and with that came the moment that I always dreamt about - being able to share it with Alan. Thankfully I was able to share it with family and a close friend who I knew would appreciate it but I became one of those mothers that wanted to show every passerby Lily's feat, and the ache of not having Alan to witness it made coming home to New York that much harder. She is truly developing into a little person - she is full of smiles and happy screeches, she kicks her legs with excitement over everything from seeing a dog to her reflection in the mirror. Her once peaceful nights have turned into teenage revolts and I am hoping, praying that that is a travel adjustment, but in this respect I could really use Alan. Parenting is hard. It requires infinite patience, resolve, hope, energy and a strong lower back. I miss Alan when I am exhausted at night, calming a wakeful Lily at 2am. I miss him when she cries for me when I leave the room for a moment - a new development which I hope will be short lived, I miss him when she hums with satisfaction contemplating a spoonful of food, I long for him when I see her smiling face peering at me from the crib at 5am. I hope he can see her delight as she peers at herself in the little mirror on her Excersaucer, that he can hear her squealed greetings when I hand her her piggy or her monkey chimp, that he can see her twirl her wrist with spoon in hand and then listlessly let it drop to the floor with her eyes on me as she does so. She is now connecting with objects and people - her discoveries are beautiful to watch. She acts with intention. I have seen her come out of a nightmare, and I recently heard a giggle as she slept. And she is ticklish.

One of the nicest things about traveling and staying with others was that I could show them Lily sleeping every night, I could share my obsession with my girl and they'd dote on her as well. They could see Lily in moments that only Alan would have experienced with us - late night sighs and her sweet sleeping silhouette, active early mornings and animated bath times. It is a joy for me to be with others who can appreciate such moments even if their enthusiasm is merely meant as support for me ~ It is love all the same. Coming home was difficult. Having our trip to look forward to was a comfort, returning to our home so wishing that Alan would be here to greet us was a challenge. He would have been so proud of our journey together. I dreamt about him the other night, the three of us in bed together, Lily in the middle. As I took Lily along side of me when she awoke shortly after, I whispered to her that in my dream we had been a family. But then I corrected myself because I know deep down that we have just enough and whispered again, that the two of us were a family as well - and feeling her sleeping next to me, I know it to be true .

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