The past seven weeks have flown by like a team of reindeer racing through the night sky. Everyone said that would happen and everyone was so right. Amelia is so big and beautiful. Each day she is more like a baby and less like a newborn. Something else I didn't know about infants is how much personality they have, even in these early days. I laugh so many times a day at the funny things she does. She frequently seems to me as if she is auditioning for a play. The expressions that cross her face in rapid succession (we burst out laughing at how quickly they change) suggest that she is trying on every character in an already-vast repertoire of characters. There's happy baby, mad baby, worried baby, quizzical baby, curious baby, peaceful baby, hand-wringing baby (that's my favorite — the weensy hands wringing while she's sucking madly at her bottle as if it's the last bottle on earth), wise baby (that's little lips pursed into a perfect circle), silly baby, blissed-out baby, Maggie baby (that's sucking on her pacifier, like Maggie Simpson), I-got-this baby, which is all confidence and happens when she's holding her head up, and what-was-THAT! baby, when she sees something she just cannot believe.
Oh my dearest, sweetest dear girl. I spend hours sitting and just watching her breathe in my arms. She holds my finger. Her fingers play with my arm. I kiss her eyelids and trace snowflakes on her cheeks, wedge my nose into her warm neck. Sometimes I have to go out by myself to get some stuff done and then, alone in the car, driving my old familiar routes out to the post office, the fabric store, over the little mountain whose village-like view I like to treat myself to in every season, I usually cry a little bit, thinking about everything that came before, how hard it was, and how hard some things are, and how tender life is, for everyone. Everyone you meet. December, with its fog and dark trees, and delicate branches waving in the cold, and its white berries hanging heavy from wire-thin black branches waving in the cold, makes me feel soft and tearful. I wind the car through the trees. The cold air smells of cedar. The route is old but I am new. I hurry to return home even though I'm trying to go slow, to let myself go slow enough to feel it all, to settle into every mile of this journey. Every season of this life. This glowing, golden gift.