Lyra is asleep in my lap, so I’m going to take the opportunity to write.
I’ve been working on getting her to nap in the bassinet. It isn’t really going quickly, or all that well, to be honest. Most of my successes are either short-lived (she stays asleep for fifteen minutes then wakes up terrified and crying because she’s alone) or few and far between. I think she’s slept for longer than fifteen minutes during the day maybe twice ever. Tonight, since I’m going out to the Muddbunnies AGM, I’ve given up trying to get her to nap elsewhere. It is better for her to have slept and be happy for her daddy while he gets to take care of her on his own for the evening. We will return to trying the bassinet again tomorrow.
In developmental news, I think Lyra is getting closer to crawling every day. She can hold herself up off the ground on her arms and legs, in a crawl position, just fine. She doesn’t yet have the coordination to move forward, but you can see that it’s coming along. She also loves sitting up, and is starting to launch herself forward onto her hands from sitting when she wants to reach something out of her reach. That’s really just a step away from launching into a crawl. I’m both excited at her imminent mobility and afraid of the repercussions. I’m hoping that my mom can come over sometime soon and help me re-organize the apartment to make it babyproof. Things like the old bassinet have to get moved out, as well as the change table, and we need to find a solution for Lyra’s clothing collection. At some point I really must pick her up a small dresser or something.
It’s amazing to watch her change so quickly. When she learns a new skill, it’s instantaneous, and she knows it – as soon as she’s figured out how to do something, she can do it, without seeming to need practice. There’s something awe-inspiring about watching how a human develops skills so naturally, and it makes it so easy to celebrate things that I would have previously taken for granted – like sitting up unassisted, reaching for things and trading them from hand to hand, putting her arms up to indicate she wants to be picked up, and that sort of thing. To see the moment that she first figures it out, and to see how she can do it from that moment on is something amazing that never occurred to me as being so before. I’ve never spent this much time with a baby before, so I’ve never had the opportunity to see this sort of development first-hand.
Sure, I’ve raised plenty of kittens and puppies and the like, but it really isn’t the same, in that sense. Kittens and puppies develop fast – they can already walk within days of being born. There’s something entirely different, though, about watching and helping a creature of your own species learn how to be. Lyra has always been a small person in my eyes, and watching and helping her discover how to be that person is inspiring. I helped bring this little person into the world, and that is just amazing.
On the other hand, of course, I get these occasional flashes of fear – fear that something could happen to her, the kind of fear that makes my stomach churn and my heart sink and my mouth dry – and fear that something could happen to me, the kind that overwhelms me with sadness at the thought that I might miss her growing up, that I might not be there to help her when she needs me, to the point that I nearly want to cry thinking about it. There is so much emotion invested in this little person sleeping on my lap that it’s impossible to explain to anyone else adequately. And I’m not someone who worries about the worst that could happen any more. I used to be, but I taught myself to be calm, and not to worry about things, and to look on the bright side, just like Monty Python told me to. I feel like I’m a better person for that. But these waves of fear that appear and then vanish in a moment – they’re visceral; subconscious, even. And maybe I’m a better person for having them, too.
Then I look at Adam, and I feel this sense of love and accomplishment that I’ve found someone so good for me as he is. I went through a lot of rough and disappointing relationships before we got together. I was promised or engaged three or four times before him – and I feel lucky that none of those worked out, because looking back, none would have been the right person for me, and some would have been the entirely wrong person. I feel like he’s my partner, my equal, and my balance, and now we have a daughter together – the natural progression of a relationship that has been going on for twelve years, from a solid friendship, to lovers, to parents. I have no fear that after we’ve raised our child(ren?) we will still have that solid basis that we built our life together on. We have evolved together this far, it isn’t that much of a stretch to assume we will continue to do so, with a little work. The work isn’t that difficult for us, as long as we remember to do it. I don’t think it will be a problem.
So here I am now: a mommy, a wife, and still myself – just evolved a little more, and excited about everything to come. Life is good.