Yesterday, a friend sent over a few photos she snapped of us when you were just six weeks old. (You looked darling, by the way.) And there was the most beautiful photo of you and me, just the two of us. But I noticed something in my eyes that I hadn’t realized a camera had the ability to capture: fear.
I was so very scared of you then, Bee. You were fragile and unpredictable and my emotions were much the same. In the photo, I was holding you upright, a forced smile on my face so no one could count how many thoughts were whirling about my mind: “Is her head supported enough? Are these pants making her uncomfortable? Will she cry in the next three minutes?”
Bee, I am so glad to be out of those dark days. I look at photos of us now, and we look like we belong. There’s no longer an awkward woman trying to figure out how to hold you while putting on her shoes. We have a rhythm, and we go together. Everything fits sort of nicely on most days, and I have you to thank for that.
You’ve been so very patient with me, Bee. I don’t know if it takes most moms this long to learn how to take care of their babies, to gain the confidence that motherhood requires. And although I know I’ll have missteps where I lose my footing, I can proudly say that I have that confidence now. I may not be confident in my own abilities, but I’m confident in yours.
I’m confident that you will be loved. That you will seek happiness. That you will make mistakes and that you will learn and you will grow and you will change.
I’m confident that I know how to hold you now. I know that you like to be snuggled in tight, your head nestled in my chest – but with your eyes looking sideways, forever focused on your surroundings. You’re always looking, Bee. Watching the rest of the world from the comfort of my arms. You’re an observer, a curious watchtower.
And that’s what this stage is, I suppose. You. Me. Watching each other. Observing and waiting and dreaming and learning. We’re growing into a family – your father, you and I. And someday soon we’ll take another portrait. Only this time, there won’t be fear in my eyes.
There will be love.