January 11th, 2009

a plea to the god of small things

The baby album was filled with little slips of paper, upon which were scrawled the littlest and biggest of details about Jack’s infancy. So many times (and against my natural inclinations for such tasks), I would carefully jot down the most minute occasions and happenstances of his first year with the completion of this book in mind. The patent stuff of baby books was all there: smiling at 3 months, crawling at 6 months, first solid food (rice cereal), first wave hello at 11 months, his first word (was it dada? already, it’s starting to fade...). The unpatent stuff was there as well: why didn’t anyone tell us it would be this intense??; and I’m not sure our marriage will survive in tact through one more sleepless night...

There was the occasional 4 a.m. ramblings of an exhausted but overjoyed mama. I can barely keep my eyes open but I can’t stop looking at you.

There was more too. The particulars: He is 3 months old now and he giggles when Andy pretends to smell his feet and pass out; and When you are awake and alert to your surroundings, your lips form the most circle while you look around.

The love letters: a couple weeks before he was born, Andy and I stayed up late, each of us writing a letter to him. We wrote about how excited we were to meet him and how nervous. About how much we wanted for him in his life--all the love and laughter the world can hold. I can’t remember the small things of that letter, but I know I wrote about feeling him move in my belly; I know I wrote about how I felt I knew him already. Andy’s letter was funny and sweet, and I imagined Jack reading it when he was grown, smiling and perhaps a bit teary.

There was a lock of his soft red baby hair in the book.

There was a list of all the songs we would sing to soothe him.

There was the story of his birth written there, of how he was born into the world screaming and quieted down as soon as he heard his daddy whisper, hi baby.

My ultrasound pictures were cut and pasted into the book. His footprints taken in the hospital, in the first moments of his life, they were there too. We’ve lost all of this. All the details and so much more too. Everything in that book was a love letter, written not only to him as a baby, but written also to our older selves, to the people we would be in twenty years when we felt like looking back, trying to remember the feel of things as they are now .

Arlo’s book was lost too. It was obviously much less filled out than Jack’s book, but in that, too, were already irrevocable memories.

I feel like we’ve lost the story of us becoming a family.

And so, with urgent hope, I’m releasing a prayer into the ether: please please please let these books find their way back to us.

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Posted by: Sarah on January 11th, 2009
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