Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What If?

Dear Lane,

You are so cute. And I love you so much. I can't even express it. How is it possible to love someone so much? Is it because you grew inside me for 9 1/2 months? I love you in a way that I never imagined I could, in a way so unlike the way I love your daddy. And it scares me just a bit.

Every time I start to think about the "what if's" in life, I just have to stop myself. What if something happened to you, if you got some horrible disease or sickness? What if God only lets me keep you for a couple of years? What if someone takes you away from me someday? What if..., what if..., what if... And then my heart gets to beating too fast and I start to not trust God, and I just have to make myself think of other things. Because those things...I cannot dwell on them. I can't borrow tomorrow's trouble. The "what if's" are just those, if's, and they're best not thought about.

But what if I forget?

What if I forget how when I ask you, "Where's your tongue?" that you sometimes oblige and stick your tongue out as far as it will go? Or that when I ask you "Where are your teeth?" that you look at me and then chomp your whopping 4 teeth together while grinning at me? That you want to stop and pick up everything when we're walking outside, and that you'd be perfectly content picking up rocks and dirt and pulling up plants all day long?

What if I forget how you squirm, wanting to hold anything in view while nursing, fingering it and working it up into your mouth until you realize that that's not actually what you wanted? That you want to nurse for like 30 seconds and then you stand up on the couch next to me, lean over to me with your milky mouth wide open, and give me a kiss before returning to your meal? What if I forget that sometimes you get so excited about kissing me that you chomp down on my lips? How your face contorts and you look like the world has ended when I tell you "no" about biting and you wail and burst into tears?

What if I forget how you'll sit in my lap to watch a Baby Einstein, and will occasionally lean your head back on my chest until you're looking up at me, and then flash me a big smile before returning to watching the show? What if I forget that sometimes, when you're frustrated, you bang your head on the table or on the wall or cabinets, which only makes you more upset but is oh so funny that you've just done it to yourself? What if I forget how you come to us with your arm outstretched, opening and closing your hand until we put our index finger in it and let you drag us wherever it is that you wanted to go?

What if I forget how you like to "feed" me your letter-link crabs? Or how you stuff your blanket in your mouth when you're trying to soothe yourself? What if I forget that when you're really tired and we're not at home that you squirm and squirm and cry and cry, but that if I hold you tight and really close despite your protests that you'll fall asleep in my arms? What if I forget the motion you make with your left arm after you've popped a bite of banana into your mouth, a quick "snap back" to the table for another piece?

What if I forget that you love to be naked? That you run around slapping your belly and squatting and standing and being crazy? That everything in the world is ok if you're naked? What if I forget how you follow the vacuum cleaner around, slapping it while I vacuum? What if I forget how you bounce up and down anytime music is played? How you throw your arms up in the air when you're excited? That when you're getting tired that you are so clumsy and fall all over the place? What if I forget that you like the book Counting Kisses, but that you usually only let me kiss your toes before you're going for another book? How you point the moons in Goodnight Moon, Dr. Suess' ABC Book, and My Little Word Book over and over and over again?

What if I forget how you like to lean against me in the mornings and snuggle, even if it only lasts for 10 seconds? What if I forget how you love cars that go by themselves, and that after we've sent one down the hallway that you'll run to get it and bring it back, grinning and holding it out for us to do again. What if I forget how when you want to be picked up you stand at my feet, look up at me with your arms outstretched, and try to jump up at me, all while whining? What if I forget how if we're laying down on the floor that you run over to us and whack our bellies with your hands before you plop yourself flat on our chests?

What if, Lane, I forget?

I already find myself not remembering things about you as a newborn, and it wasn't that long ago. Am I a bad mother if I forget? I don't want to forget...I don't want to. But I know I will. And once again, it makes me want to stop time so that you can't become more than 10-days-shy-of-1-year-old. Because then, Lane, I'd never forget.

But what if you keep getting cuter? What if you keep giving me new things I never want to forget? What if your next year of life is even more fun than your first year has been? What if in 8 or so months you learn how to say "I love you, mommy." These are better "what if's" to focus on. Don't you think?

I love you so much,


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  1. Could someone please pass the Kleenex?
    I need to go hug my daughters now...

  2. that's the best, sweetest, cutest, most awesome post I have read in a long time. I love to read your thoughts. You do such a great job!!! Lane will love to read this one day!


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