on perception.

Dearest Niara,

I’ve been here before. I know this place that smells of new skin and betadine and sour milk. I know this place that sounds of tiny coos and grunts from new lungs and the hum of the washing machine running more often than usual.

Daddy and I lose track of what day and hour it is as times passes those first few days of you being here. It’s tiring and disorienting, but it’s familiar.  It’s familiar, yet brand new. I was a mother before, but never a mother to you. Never a mother of two.  It’s familiar, yet brand new — like something I did a lifetime ago, not a mere two and a half years ago.

As that familiarity creeps in I find myself reminded of things I know but have forgotten. Facts like the size of a newborn stomach or the number of wet diapers to expect at one week old. Feelings like the soreness that is temporary or the wonder that is constant. But perhaps most importantly, I am reminded of a truth: that you can stop another human being from crying just by holding them. Through simple acts such as carrying you, laying with you, feeding you, listening to you, holding you against my chest, or breathing with you, I am able to bring you comfort. And this is not through anything any one has taught you in your few days of being here, not through any selfish desire or ulterior motive, but just at the core of who we are, who you are, as a human.

Somewhere along the way, I feel like we grow up and unlearn this truth. Comforting each other becomes a burden instead of a blessing. And slowly we stop accepting these comforts from others or offering them to each other. So thank you for shifting my perception back. Thank you for reminding me that while I count the minutes that can seem like an eternity as I rock you in my arms, I should instead feel empowered by this privilege to be able to comfort you. My promise to you is to always be there to hold you if you need me, and even in the times that you think that you do not need me. I hope that in doing so, I teach you to do the same for your daddy, your sister and me or anyone else you encounter on your journey. And maybe slowly we can remind enough people of this truth and start a revolution. How nice a world would it be if we all just remembered that we have in us the power to comfort each other every once in a while?

Love, Mommy.

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