Millie Bee, you spent nearly 42 weeks on the inside, and you’ve spent about 42(ish) weeks out.
As I top myself up on extra sniffs of the back of your neck, preparing myself for your first day of daycare Monday, I’m feeling it all about your story.
How amazing it is that from the very moment of your conception, you were ingrained in every fibre of my being. How you became a piece of me I hadn’t had.
Except I didn’t know you were you, and I didn’t know how much I needed you.
Drunk on beer and sunshine, your sweetness remained a mystery for a couple of months. Well, perhaps not so much a mystery, but a question mark.
Because little Mill, when I got pregnant with you just after Wren’s 3rd birthday, it was our summer of sun. A summer of jean shorts, bathing suits and lake swims. Of baby chicks, sandboxes and picnics on plaid blankets. A summer of corn roasts, hammocks and popsicles.
We were in a good groove.
It was the summer of naked toddlers, as your sister rode the wave of joy that was her second year of life, alongside her new neighbour and longtime best friend. She was curious, smart and growing in confidence every day. Walking barefoot to dip in the river, life in the country suited her.
Life in the country suited us.
We were settling into our new property, newly married, newly broke and newly inspired.
And I just could not imagine fitting you in.
The grass was already so green, the projects already so plentiful.
So though my being sensed something was different when I no longer felt like taking that second drink on the deck one warm September evening, my brain told me it couldn’t be so.
Because though your sister should have taught me conception needn’t be planned, I was still caught off guard. I figured surely, with kid number two, there would be some divine sign telling us to make the calculated decision to bring you into our lives.
It wasn’t so.
Though I was very much enjoying the five months of freedom for my body since supporting a nursling and the year since changing a shitty diaper, my wine-induced labido had other plans.
By October of 2014, you were my mind’s every thought and my body’s every ounce of energy.
As I walked the trail with Wren I wondered, how could I possibly make more space for you? I was already so full. My life already seemed complete.
How, as I snuggled down at night, could I learn to unsleep again?
Where on earth would the squeaky rocking chair go, the one I spent most of Wren’s first year in, with its permanent butt-mould in the cushion, amidst this tiny cluttered home?
Most importantly, having just accepted a new job, I wondered how would my brain survive another insufferable blow that is the result of cell loss due to raising small humans?
The period in one’s life that is pregnancy brings with it so many unanswerable questions, so much uncertainty. I’ll admit I was uncertain about you, little girl.
It was a daunting task to consider having to add a whole new slate to learn a whole new human’s every like, dislike, need, cue, feeling, hope and fear.
It was an exhausting thought, as I, as you well know, had grown up an an only child, and was best friends with one. Two seemed so much more than double the work.
Would I even keep it all straight?
Well, if I’ll keep it real, as I do, truthfully I haven’t. It’s not gone perfectly, and I don’t respond as promptly as I used to.
But we keep going.
Truthfully, I can no longer imagine life without your sweet smile to punctuate frantic family dinners. Frankly, I can’t remember my bed without your warmth in the nook of my arm. I don’t recall car rides without your screams, or being able to see the living room floor.
I do believe if I’d waited for the perfect time to have you I wouldn’t have found it, and the universe is pretty well aware of that, with me.
I’ll never know baby girl, if things could have gone differently this past year, but I know you’ve been the best part of it. And I’m mourning the end of year one. Your rolls are shrinking, your drool is receding, and you already know how to suck back a juicepack.
Time has escaped me yet again.
So I don’t know how we fit you in, Millie Bee, but I know you fit perfectly. I don’t know how my heart made space, but I know you’re taking it over.
Thanks for being small – we love every square inch of you.