Dear Juliette: What I Know Already

Dear Juliette,

You are just over two weeks old now. I’d like to say that I can’t imagine life before you arrived, but that’s not quite true. It’s only been two weeks and we’re all still adjusting to being a family of four. What I can’t remember is what is was like to be just two — your dad and I knew each other for such a short time before we became parents, so although it blows my mind on a daily basis that you’re here and that you exist, the act of being a mother, of a life governed by nap schedules and cheddar bunnies and now burp cloths thrown back in the mix, is not wholly unfamiliar.

So far, you’ve glided right into our little family, becoming a permanent fixture in our arms and on our couch, your cries and snorts and snuffles percolating along with the rest of the household in a way that makes me realize that perhaps there was something lacking before you came along. Becoming a mother to you has been a much easier transition than it was for me when Veronica entered my life. Her existence was startling and abrupt; she created an instant whirlpool of emotion that funneled me into places I hadn’t known existed. I spent days after she was born, crying and thinking about my own parents, about what I had lost, and since gained.

With you though, the feeling is softer. I already understand how much I love you and how deep that love will grow in the years to come. I have places in my head and heart for all the ways in which you will rip me open and stitch me back up. I also understand so much more about you than I did about your sister. I know that you will grow so fast and so strong that just weeks from now I will no longer be able to remember how tiny you once were. I know that the nights you cry and keep me up until the darkest hours will be short-lived and one day even missed. I know that every day to come will be my new favorite with you, that every phase you enter into will be better than the last, even if I can’t quite fathom how it could all possibly get better or worse.

I know that even though I think I don’t know you yet, I’ll look back on the baby you are right now one day and see that it was all there, and that we somehow knew each other long before that.


1 comment

One Comment

  • Posted July 3, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    She is so adorable, Claire! This post brought tear to my eyes – yet again – as we’ve just entered the month that my own baby girl turns one. You already know how fast it all flies by, so no need to tell you that! I had a feeling that those newborn days would be over in a flash so I cherished every moment, but I still miss them so much. It’s crazy how I look back on those first few months as the best of my life now. I’m so nostalgic for them.

    I love what you wrote about feeling like you’ve known each other forever. I can’t explain it, but the person who my daughter is becoming doesn’t surprise me for a moment, as I feel like I already knew her before she was even born. I always try to explain this to my husband but can’t really put it into words. I love that you brought it up. 🙂 Enjoy these days!

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