an individual already

A Newborn Girl at Passover
by Nan Cohen
Consider one apricot in a basket of them.
It is very much like all the other apricots--
an individual already, skin and seed.

Now think of this day.  One you will probably forget.
The next breath you take, a long drink of air.
Holiday or not, it doesn't matter.

A child is born and doesn't know what day it is.
The particular joy in my heart she cannot imagine.
The taste of apricots is in store for her.

She's almost here, (7 weeks is not a long time, in the mind of a pregnant woman.) When I worry about all the sadness she will inevitably feel, all the horrible, non-apricot things she will encounter, I like to remember all the wonderful things in store for her. She is an individual already, but I hope she someday enjoys the following things:

The first time she reads something so wonderful and beautiful, that it makes her cry. I hope she has a book or a poem that she can barely stand to share with someone else because it causes a throat lump and a scratchy voice.

The first warm day after a long winter.

The feeling of accomplishment after working hard for a goal.

The moment she realizes she has found the person she will love forever, and the knowledge that this person loves her back.

Really good cheese.

Sleeping in on Saturday.

Making out.

The first day of school (please bless that this child loves school.)

The last day of school (please bless that this child is sensible enough to realize the importance of summer.)

Sour candy.


Tag at recess.

I keep hoping this is enough, in some small way, to make up for the things that keep me up at night. Unfairness, inequality, misunderstandings, mean people. I’m hoping her apricot moments are enough.


Lena said...

All the scary things that soon-to-be parents think about. I hope these things for your little girl too, anything else is just heart breaking.

Rose said...

It sounds like you are going to be THE coolest mom ever.

Breanne said...

I love this.

ChristyLove said...

I'm excited you've been blogging so much lately. It's like I'm getting my fix before you inevitably disappear into the world of mommies.

I worry about all those things, too. It's not like I think I'll be the worst mother, but I wring my hands over the thought of my kid going out ino the world underprepared.

And I'm told the worrying and saggy boobs increase exponentially every year. So.

Stephanie said...

@Christylove: NEVER! I am Mormon-raised, which means as soon as I reproduce I will trigger a biological need to detail every instance of my life.

Expect to see multiple family photo-shoots, instagram photos, and anthro-style knock off crafts.

But plain old not blogging? Never. :)

mommy dearest said...

this made her grandma cry

Becky said...

One of the greatest joys of my parenting so far has been watching my oldest daughter get "lost" in a book. She devours them like I do, and it makes me feel all warm and happy inside. When I saw a tear run down her cheek after she finished Stone Fox, I nearly died with love!

Tammy said...

I have two girls. I have the same feelings you have about sending them off to the world and watching their hearts break. My 3 year old just started at Challenger 2 full days a week and the hardest part of that decision was wondering if she would get bullied during recess or a mean child telling her she is ugly. She doesn't even know that word.
What I keep telling myself is that if bad things don't happen to my girls they won't grow and blossom as people. They won't learn anything if everything is always perfect and rosy.
Here are a couple Mary Oliver quotes (since I know you love her)that always seem to comfort me
"to live in this world
you must be able
to do 3 things,
to love what is mortal,
to hold it
against your bones
knowing your whole life depends on it,
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go."
(Talk about getting choked up when reading a poem. That one gets me every time. It describes motherhood perfectly.)
"It is better for the heart to break, than not to break."

All the worry that comes with motherhood is so worth it. Though you can't shelter your kids from that horrible heart break you can talk them through it and watch them triumph.

Tammy said...

Just want to read follow up comments but I guess I have to comment again.

Mrs. Clark said...

I hate to tell you, but she may not love to read as you do. My kids don't read much at all, and both my husband and I are voracious readers. You have to love your kids for who they are, not who you want them to be. One of the worst moments of my life came as my younger daughter and I stood in front of our bookshelves and I tried to recommend some books to her. It hit me like a ton of bricks: she doesn't have all those wonderful stories inside they way I do. So sad. But it's just not her thing. She is still a beautiful, wonderful human being.

Stephanie said...

Oh Mrs. Clark, you don't hate to tell anyone anything. If you did, you wouldn't :)

When I say I hope she likes these things, I'm aware that she might not. I also know that she will find her own things to like. Whatever they are, I will be supportive her her search for happiness in a sometimes unhappy world.

mandorama said...

These worries are so normal. SO NORMAL! But I wish that you didn't have this extra layer of worry about letting her figure out her "own Mormonhood", because it seems that that exploration should be encouraged in your faith. But clearly, it's not. *womp womp*

You make so much sense on so many issues surrounding raising a happy, confident child. A child, period: Mormon or non-Mormon. Your little girl will navigate through the world's choppy waters beautifully with you as a mother.

Katie Fry said...

Are they enough for you? Then inevitably your daughter will find joy in the little things as she will do what she see's you do, and what you have taught her to do before she spreads her wings to fly in her own direction.