I was going through their baby pictures, as part of this madness, because I had decided to print and frame some sweet pictures for their room so they could admire themselves and we could have some spontaneous conversations about the things they did when they were little tiny babies and what to expect baby Piper to do, that sort of thing.
(According to Ariel, she needs her little rocking chair back out of storage so she can hold baby Piper and rock her and sing to her, but then baby Piper will get angry and cry in her face and she doesn't LIKE when baby Piper cries in her face, Mama. I don't know where she's been getting her information about newborns, but it seems eerily prophetic to me.)
And then I got lost in the baby pictures. Possibly for days. They were so tiny and sweet and warm and snuggly. I remembered the new baby smell (there can't possibly be a better smell on earth, can there?) and the perfect weight of them in my arms and the feeling of triumph and accomplishment. And that funny expression she had there, she makes that face all the time now, I never realized.
I get to do it again, I realized. I get another one. I'm so happy and I can barely stand waiting to have her.
Yesterday I went to work, promptly threw up, and just as promptly went back home with the NEW stomach virus that's making the rounds. In between throwing up I curled up in the big chair in our living room and wondered when was the last time I had been home by myself during the day time. The sunlight flooding in the living room was fairly glorious and everything was quiet and sleepy and peaceful.
In just a few months, I'll get to be home with a new little baby, all day every day, I realized. I can sit in a rocking chair in that sunny corner and hold her for hours if I want. She'll be sweet and milky and new and it will be just the two of us all day.
I was horribly anxious with Ariel, and I could barely force myself to enjoy my maternity leave with her, I was so busy proving that I could have a baby and not fall apart, I could have a baby and still do my makeup each morning and keep the house clean and make dinner and keep the baby happy and be ready to go back to teaching as soon as my leave was over and not fall apart there, either. And I was horribly anxious with Nessie because I was so busy proving that I could have TWO babies so very close together and still do all of those things.
I have nothing to prove this time, nothing to do but snuggle my baby. I cannot wait for this.
It shouldn't have taken me two babies to figure this out, but it did. And I'm strangely comforted by this because there's a whole pocket of anxiety just gone without me having figured any anxiety-banishing magic trick or getting any better at convincing myself not to be anxious or even getting any less anxiety attacks about other things (no, seriously, sometime I'll tell you the story of the poisonous radioactive black eyed peas and you'll see what I mean) but it's gone nonetheless. Because of experience.
You can't help getting experience, eventually. You just get it, whether you want it or plan it or not. It keeps happening and then you know.
And I think that means that someday I'll be an old (still artificially blonde) lady and I'll have this whole mountain of experiences for all kinds of different things that terrify me now. Poisonous radioactive black eyed peas, for example. And I won't feel anxious about any of them because I'll know all about them. Even if I never learn the elusive secret of how to just stop being anxious, already, I can look forward to someday being much less anxious. I cannot wait for this.
Bigger Picture Moments are at Jade's today!