Friday, August 10, 2012

This was taken on Valentine's Day evening, when you were just two weeks old.

As you lay in my arms with your eyes sweetly closed, rocking away in the little vintage rocking chair in your room, I often just hold your hands in mine and stare, wondering what they'll experience in the years to come. I run my fingers over yours and trace the lines on your palms, listening to the unending questions move through my mind like a bird in flight. There are so many - so many things I don't know about you yet, so many moments to be experienced with you, so many memories to be made. I think about what your hands will look like someday soon when they're no longer the chubby infant hands that I love, but are skinny and full of energy as you paint, color, clap, cartwheel, and hold mine as we walk through a parking lot. I think about the man who will someday hold them in his as you stand at the alter together and become one. I look at them and realize they will be the same hands that comfort and hold the continuance of the family that we're working so hard to build, your children, my grandchildren, the future. I wonder how you'll use them - will they often be covered in graphite and charcoal as you sketch the world around you like I love to do? Will you regularly be scrubbing paint from under your finger nails after you've been pouring out your creativity onto canvas? What sort of places will they steer you in your adventurous twenties? What sort of stories will they channel onto paper for you? What sort of books will you hold in them as you devour the words on pages that will shape your thoughts and life? You may not do any of these things, but I ponder on them just the same.

So many nights I sit with my fingers poised above a keyboard, trying to put the love I feel for you into words, and so many times I feel like I fail at it. I guess that's the downside to being an artist - you always have this desire in you to create, to put words on paper, to document the beauty around you, but you're almost never satisfied with the outcome. It is never exactly what you pictured. It's never an accurate enough portrayal of the moment or feeling you were trying to preserve. I think about you reading this blog one day and I hope you will - I write it for you above all else. Sometimes someone will tell me that I should write a book and all I can think is that I sort of am. I'm writing our book, your book, the story of this family, and I believe it is the most important thing I could be writing. At the end of my life, all you'll have are these words. What you'll know of your Papa and I will be in what I leave you. I know I will always be nostalgic because of this - because the only records of my existence are in the moments that I accumulate and tuck away so that they can be relived and remembered long after I'm gone.

Your soul entered this world with a fierceness that I still can't wrap my mind around. The act of giving birth to you was such a concentration of love in such a short period of time. The moment that our eyes met, I knew that I would have to be better. I needed to evolve in the worst way. Whenever doubt creeps in about whether I can do this, whether I can be the mother you deserve and become the woman I want to become, you always find a way to assure me that I can and that I'm doing something magnificent. In your eyes, I can do no wrong. Your Papa and I are the lights of your life, your moon and sun. I want to honor that with my actions. I want to be better for you, but most importantly, I want you to be better than me.

"I can change the world - with my own two hands.
Make it a better place - with my own two hands.
Make it a kinder place - with my own two hands. . .
I can make peace on Earth - with my own two hands.
I can clean up the Earth - with my own two hands.
I can reach out to you - with my own two hands. . .
I'm gonna make it a brighter place.
I'm gonna make it a safer place.
I'm gonna help the human race. . .
Oh, with my own, with my own two hands."
- Ben Harper


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