Wednesday, August 5, 2009

She's Real!

Our baby, I mean. For the past four months we’ve watched her squirm, get fat and morph into a real human being rather than the sweet little grub with the slate-gray eyes that came to us on Easter Sunday. Seeing her every day, it’s easy to overlook how much she’s changed. But when I see pictures taken from her first couple of days this side of the placenta, I’m really amazed at her progress. It’s visible everywhere, from the seemingly continual lightening of her eyes to the chubby rolls on her hyper-kicky legs. Where once was a strange little detached creature whose only means of communication was to cry or scream is now a tiny person who laughs and squeals in delight at her favorite lampshade and follows us around the room with her eyes.

From the moment we heard that first little wail our lives would never be the same. Nothing can prepare you for seeing your own offspring for the first time. Emotion has little to do with this attachment at first, although it is one of the most emotional moments of your life. These feelings are more intense than that. They’re physical. Love is unconditional for your child; she’s practically a part of your body. Her eyes are shaped like Lily’s but they’re turning blue like mine. The blood in her veins is our blood. Her drool is our drool. It’s really weird!

This miniature human being is ours. Our baby, our Beatrice. Our responsibility. And what responsibility that is! She is helpless, completely dependent upon us. We feed her, clothe her, bathe her, change her diapers. Those are the visibly obvious things. But more importantly she needs us to raise her. Providing for her is mandatory, but not nearly enough. We talk to her and sing to her. We play with her and take her everywhere with us. We acquaint her with all our friends and loved ones. We’re trying to figure out how to be the best parents we can be so that she will grow up to be a happy, well-rounded, self-sufficient woman. At the outside we’ve probably got about twenty years with her under our wings as she grows up and finds her place in the world.

And what a curious privilege it will be to witness her growth! As humans, we’re perhaps the only creatures on earth with brains developed enough to even appreciate the riveting drama that unfolds before our eyes as our children become viable. There will be so many milestones, so many hurdles to leap and bridges to cross. It’s really exciting, especially because we get to be her guides. We get to be the ones who will steer her in what we hope is the right direction and try to instill good judgment in her. It’s up to us to see that she’s educated and loved.

She’s real, alright. It doesn’t get any more real than this.


  1. I have to follow your blog because you are the only other person on that named their daughter Beatrice- just like me!

    Your Beatrice is sooo cute. Love her. If you get a chance, stop by our Bea blog!

  2. I still find myself reeling in amazement occasionally. I mean holy cow, we made these people!

    Your tree house sounds lovely! I can't wait to read more of your blog...and go to erica's too. She's a riot!