Every night before I go to sleep, no matter the time, I creep into the girl’s room and watch my baby sleep.
For the past three weeks it has just been her and I – a sweet little baby and her observant mother. We cuddle, snuggle, and make each other laugh with “baby kisses”, tickling a soft baby belly, and dancing all around the downstairs of our apartment.
The thought that my baby girl is nearly a year old has been a bittersweet glimpse at how fast time goes… I fear I have missed too much of the tenderness that passes quickly as baby goes from infant to toddler in the blink of an eye. As the moments swiftly turn into yesterday, no more will I miss what is so eagerly right in front of me: An 18lb sugar-love with dark eyes and pearly teefers peeking out from a huge Jemmy grin.
The only thing I regret about the last year is how fighting with her father made me miss so many important seconds with [both] my girls, but especially the smallest of the two. Jemma’s father broke his vows and almost took with him my ability to pause… The way that I do when I know something valuable is in my grasp. To stop and watch a small child blossom as she learns to clap her hands and learns to say “Mama” (… She says, “Ya-ya”; unable quite yet to make the “M” sound). The struggle of another failed relationship nearly drained me of what is innately a part of who I am: The kind of woman who pays attention and rarely misses a thing.
Now, thankfully, the days of Sterling drama are almost just a thing of the past. I am so grateful, beyond words really… But, I will note that at least now, there is nothing (nobody) keeping me from caring about and taking time to pay attention to what really matters most – my children.
Tonight it is all about my Jemmy-choo, and all the ways she is making me a better woman.
When she goo-goo’s at something, pointing that perfect finger at a tree, or one of the cats, or a picture of big sister Layla, she never fails to send me orbiting ’round the moon with pure joy and pride to call her mine. I already know she is going to have a Geddes sense of humor, and she is smart – you can see it in her intensity and curiosity. She gets this from me.
These days, she is just one confident step away from truly walking. I watch patiently yet with baited breathe as she holds onto the furniture with one extended arm, balancing on half-sure feet, one after the other, finally releasing her grasp to take a few steps all by herself.
Truth be told, I was not adequately prepared for how fast she would grow. They say with your second it goes much faster, but I just always imagined I would be the kind of mother whom will not take for granted the time as it passes. Again most of the fault of my wayward intentions falls to the man causing our world to change this year, but I still have regret that I didn’t try harder for myself, and for my daughter, to put aside my emotions and simply watch my daughter flourish.
Now, she is almost a year. And she is almost walking… I cannot unwind the clock or stop it no matter how much I wish I could. All those days we will never get back.
And all I have to show for my love of Jemma Ann during the first year of her life are the scars from a nasty divorce and a few pictures and videos. It isn’t enough. She deserves the world, and all I can give her is my love. . .
My heart knows limitless adoration for that precious happy child. I just wish time would do me a favor and stop long enough for me to spend a lifetime loving her with nothing changing at all.
Jemma is truly a Gem, and as her name suggests, she is rare, indeed. She is a Sterling Gem, after all, and though Mommy no longer shares her last name, who she is fits it perfectly – and she will always be my perfect, sweet, and funny little angel.
I hope she always knows how much love exists in me that is solely hers. I hope she knows how wonderfully blessed she has made Layla and me because of her light in our lives.
She gives me ample reason to go on, do better in my life, and make her (and her sister) proud.
As God as my witness, I intend now only to dote on her as if time very well did stop. So that she never has to wonder how much I love her, and she never will question why Mommy moved on, found forgiveness, and made a good life for her, Layla, and me.
It was, is, and always will be for you, my little wonder.
I loved you from the moment the stick showed me two pink lines. From the first moment I saw your face, in my arms, swaddled tight in a blanket, I breathed in the smell of your skin for the first time, and I knew a glimpse of heaven in that moment.
As you grow, may you never doubt how unique and precious you are. May you always find your way back home which will always be wherever Mommy is. May you believe in love, faith, and your purpose – whatever that will be…
I loved you then.
I love you now…
And, my sweetest baby love, I will love you always.
Being your Mommy is my life’s purpose, and no matter what may come, always know I am still standing because of and just for you, my lovely gift from God.