It’s nearly 4:00 am. My eyes are half open (looking on the bright side here), and there’s a beautiful baby girl cradled in my arms. I’m so tired that I nearly put myself back to sleep rocking in this comfy chair. Yet, somehow in this moment my writing mojo has returned! Such nights have become the norm since eight weeks ago when my daughter greeted the world. Yes, I am now a mother. I am tired. I have aches and pains. I have moments of doubt. My strength and resolve are tested. But, my heart is full. I maintain a sense of humor. I love my husband even more as he gazes at our daughter. It’s no surprise she has him wrapped aroundher tiny finger. Together they are my whole heart, and together we will embark on new adventures as a family – adventure traveling 2.0.
Little Emilie is up to the task. Her early arrival tells me she is strong and willful. Her increasing hours of wakefulness tell me she is ready for wonder and understanding. Her growing repertoire of coos tells me she is ready to communicate and participate in her world. She is a blank slate, and it’s my job to guide her, to show her as many perspectives as possible. I must admit, seeing the world through her very young eyes is exciting and beautiful yet scary and overwhelming. We live in a major metropolis where noise is the norm. At any given time there are car horns honking and police sirens and bus engines humming. But, there are also birds chirping and leaves rustling and people laughing. An afternoon walk to the park is an assault on her very acute senses. I imagine her experience to be something like mine in Egypt – chaos, noise, crowds. Complete disorder was totally overwhelming, yet it somehow made sense. I could feel slight pangs of fear the less I understood about my surroundings, but it was in these moments I learned the most. I found beauty in methods of madness. But Emilie isn’t quite ready for a place like Egypt. For now this is what our travels consist of – walks to the park, narrated tours in our house, small adventures in brightly colored board books. With each little adventure she grows a little more aware, she inches closer to small understandings, her world becoming a little less blurry yet even bigger than ever.
A mother wears many hats, and one of my favorites is playing tour guide to a little lady whose natural tendency is to explore and learn all she can. Seeing the world through the eyes of my child is a gift, and damn if it isn’t beautiful! Each day I greet her with a smile and a kiss, and I’m reminded of a tale by Dr. Seuss that begins something like this:
Congratulations! Today is your day! You’re off to great places! You’re off and away!