Friday, February 3, 2012

To remember

I don't remember Chloë's first year. I mean, I do, of course, in snippets, and when I read something I've written here, I remember it; and I remember it when Maia brings Chloë's babyhood to mind, either by being like it or by being different. (I've heard many parents comment that their two children are "night and day" different. At least so far, mine aren't. There are differences, of course, but nothing I wouldn't expect from the normal variation of siblings.) But mostly, I've forgotten. She's always been this magical and frustrating little girl, and her baby months have slipped away.

It makes me a little sad to think that I'm going to lose Maia's first year too, and that I haven't written as much about hers as I did about Chloë's, just because we've heard it before this time around and also, I'm busier. I'm not that much of a baby person--I find kids much more interesting--but Maia is so sweet, and so funny, and yes, so different from Chloë, the only other baby I've known in this depth, even if I no longer do. I love the feel of her small strong hands on my face, even when she's trying to grab for my glasses; the sound of her breathless "dah, dah, dah...dah bah" that she interrupts nursing to say, as if it's an urgent message for me that won't wait; the smell of her warm head, faintly scented with berry from the yogurt melts she's had, when I'm carrying her upstairs; the sight of her groping her way along my leg so she can stand at the bathtub to watch the water as it's flowing, and her delighted face as I'm whirling her around in the air. ("Can you do that to me?" Chloë asks when I do this. And when I do pretty much anything that makes Maia laugh. I suppose I can't blame her; but I remind her that I did do this to her, when she was a baby.)

She's nine months old. Soon, so soon I'm already planning for it, she'll be a year old, and enter the toddler year. ("Toddler" has felt like a misnomer for Chloë for half a year already.) And she will be even more fun, more outgoing and independent and curious and wiggly; but she won't be this baby anymore. Eric still has a picture of Chloë from Christmas 2009 on his laptop. Quite a while ago, he and Chloë were looking at it, and when he closed it Chloë said "Bye-bye baby," and he felt the truth of this echo in him, that we're having to say good-bye to our babies in order to welcome our toddlers, and later our full-fledged kids. It's a good thing, but it's a little sad, too. So I'm especially glad we've got this blog, to help us remember.

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