She was born on a Friday, the first day of the first month of a new century. She was pink and fat and hairy and perfect. The drive home from the hospital was cold and dark, and she never closed her eyes. She saw stars and lights and wonder all around her.
Those first few days were surreal; neither her father nor I had any idea what we were doing, and we didn't pretend to. She was what I can now recognize as a 'good baby'. She was, in fact, a near perfect baby. Even so, those first weeks are a blur of nursing, diapers and tears (mostly mine). Second only to the overwhelming feeling of love was the crushing weight of my own inadequacy.
I would never be good enough.
The reality of it all hit me one morning as I got her dressed. She had, as newborns sometimes do, fallen asleep mid-change. As she lie there quietly breathing, I held my ear to her chest. It was the first time I'd heard her heartbeat independent of my body. The sound twisted my chest into a knot that's yet to be unraveled. It said to me, I am yours, you are mine.
She is kind and funny and happy and prone to dramatics. She is fearless in front of an audience, yet scared of the dark. She is kind. She is terrible about making decisions and keeping her room clean. She is creative and smart and loving and a horrible dancer. She still sees the wonder in everything around her.
She is my heart, my love, my own. She is mine and I am hers. Happy birthday, my New Year's Girl. You are The Beginning.
(I have joined NaBloPoMo again for January, and the theme for the month is 'Beginnings'. I can think of no better beginning than our first child, our Katie, who celebrates her eleventh birthday today.)
2 weeks ago