I want to remember your bobbing head - gigantic above your barely-there neck - as you gain control and learn to keep it raised. "Look at my new trick!" your wide eyes shout as Dad and I applaud and exclaim that you're awesome. Someday you'll do headstands and turn cartwheels and you'll ask, this time with your voice, for me to watch. I'll sit patiently and cheer you on over and over, little one. And I will remember these early days.
I want to remember how you clutch your fists at your chest while eating. Sometimes they rest tightly against your neck. Sometimes they are clasped in prayer. Sometimes one palm will cup the other as if to say, "No flailing now! We're eating." When you are really hungry, you calm your hands to focus just on drinking milk because two things at once is too much. Someday you'll use those hands to wield a fork and knife while you carry on a conversation and tell me about your adventures. I will listen to whatever you have to say, little one. And I will remember these early days.
I want to remember your innocent pouting face right before you break into a cry. Before you, I thought pouty faces were reserved for college girls posting selfies on Instagram. I didn't know they existed in such true, un-manipulative form. When you're hungry, overly-tired or uncomfortable, your face breaks down in the sweetest of ways. Each time I scoop you up and come to your aid. Someday, you'll burst into tears due to heartbreak. I will do my best to comfort you and help you work through your pain, little one. And I will remember these early days.
I want to remember your sweet smell. Many times a day I rest my nose on your head to breathe it in. It smells like nothing and the promise of everything all at once. Someday, I'll pick you up from practice - dance, soccer, archery, swimming, it will not matter to me - and the car will fill with the smell of dirty shoes, sweaty clothes, grass, mud and chlorine. It will smell like a big kid, with no trace of baby. I will say a prayer of thanks that you are up and moving and load the washing machine for the six millionth time, little one. And I will remember these early days.
I want to remember you sleeping in a bassinet at the foot of our bed. Every night, around 2:30AM, you wake us up. You are anxious for a change and quick feed. We are anxious to get back to sleep. Depending on the night, we spend 25 minutes to an hour getting you fed, settled and tucked back in again. Someday, you'll sleep outside of our room, outside of our house, outside of our state. After you've moved far away, you may call late at night to share good news or ask for advice. I will see your number light up my phone and I will answer. On those nights, I will hope the conversation takes hours, little one. And I will remember these early days.
Ellerie, I love you who you are and who you're becoming. Keep growing, little one.
yours forever, Mama.