You can know anything. It's all there. You just have to find it.

-Neil Gaiman


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Five Months

Dear Baby Sena,

Tomorrow you will be five months old. Five months since you arrived in this crazy world and permanently changed our lives. How could such a tiny, little girl do all that?

I must admit, I was at first very scared to be a parent. So much responsibility. So many things to think about. I focused on the things I thought would be hard. The sleepless nights. How many things you would need and how to pay for them. How to change a diaper. How to give you a bath and change your clothes. How to feed you. How to comfort you when all you could do was cry and I had to figure out what you needed. I didn't know. And I was afraid of all the things I didn't know.

And it was hard. Very hard. The first two months you kicked my ass, little baby Sena. And I was depressed and I thought I couldn't do it. That I didn't want to do it. That things would never get better, would never get easier. I wanted to run away. But I loved you from the beginning and couldn't imagine being without you. And I knew it was the depression making me feel this way, but I couldn't make it stop.

So I got some help.

And you kept growing. And you started to smile. You started to laugh. You got chubby and happy. You stopped crying as much. You started sleeping longer. I started sleeping longer. Feeding you got easier. I wasn't afraid to change your diaper or give you a bath anymore. I started to breathe again, and feel like I was climbing out of a big dark hole that I had fallen into.

Then the sun finally came out.

You smile at me and talk and gurgle and coo. You love to talk to your stuffed animals, especially your panda bear. You love stroller rides and doggies. You are slowly but surely sitting up and looking around. You grab everything, my hair especially. You love your bath time and you like to hold your bottle when you eat. You love stories and music. You love to dance with me in the kitchen, especially to Bob Marley and Pink Floyd. You have excellent taste in music.

You have changed so much in these few months, but I have changed even more. And you did that to me, baby Sena. I had always tried to imagine what it would be like to love something so much. To really know what love was and what it meant. But I was afraid of what that kind of love would do to me. I thought it would make me weak. Make me vulnerable. I didn't think I wanted to be that kind of person. To me, that was terrifying.

And now I know. I am no longer terrified. I understand what it is now and it is the most painfully wonderful feeling I have ever known. That is the best way to describe it. Painfully wonderful. I am always thinking of you. Wondering how you are. If you are happy. If you're scared. If you're hungry, tired, bored, hot, or uncomfortable. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night because I haven't heard you cry (you are sleeping through now) and I'm terrified you might have suffocated. And I can't go back to sleep until I check on you, until I see you and smell your baby head and hear your breath.

This love I feel for you broke my heart into pieces and rebuilt it into something so much stronger than I thought was ever possible. And everything I was so afraid of is something I'm now so grateful I experienced.

Because I didn't know. I could not know. But now I do. I know what other people were trying to explain, but it is something that has to be experienced. I always thought my imagination was good enough, but these feelings blow my imagination out of the water.

And I'm so thankful for that. I'm thankful for you, you who showed it to me.

I love you.



Susan said...

Oh...that was so beautiful. I had tears in my eyes
at the end. Being a Mother and experiencing that kind of love is life changing and although people tell you that it will change your life, you never really believe
them until it happens to you. You are a wonderful
Mother; I'm so proud of you.

Christina Rodriguez said...

Beautiful, heartfelt letter to your daughter. You are so talented with words.