It’s Februrary and Alba is finding her voice. It is sweet and commanding. It reminds me that she is not a little baby any more. We are living with Georgia’s family and making our new house home. Our bed faces the windows so the sun can shine on our bodies. Alba follows the children on all fours like a puppy dog and cries at the door when they leave.
I spend the afternoons making dinner for everyone in the house and many mornings baking or making nut milks, raw desserts or drying fruit. I give Alba a wooden spoon to stir granola and she squeals with delight and the granola is everywhere.
Most days I feel like I have too many responsibilities and too little time. I work while Alba is in the garden with Papa or during her morning nap. I know I could be more productive during the day but it would mean not being present enough for her. So I’m not doing as many photoshoots as I used to and the dishes are piling up but we are living and loving as a family every single day.
Nights can be hard. It’s not always easy to abruptly stop in the middle of answering an email, cooking or editing a series of images to be Mama again. Sometimes when she wakes up and cries my heart sinks and as she feeds (sleepy and safe in my arms) I feel chained. For a while I even tried night weaning.
It’s easy to forget what is most important in my life. Not those emails, dinners or images, but my family. I’m discovering how to appreciate what I have in each moment, not mourn what I don’t. So last night as I was working on our online store I heard a cry and slipped into our dark, warm bedroom. I curled my girl’s body so her chubby legs were against my belly and I was grateful that she needed me. One day soon she won’t need these night feeds any longer.
The garden is growing wilder and wilder as the days pass. Alba explores it on all fours or walking with her little hands in ours. A lady bug makes its way across her arm and she holds an earthworm in her open palm. She digs at the surface of the earth with a plastic spade and plants sunflower seeds. She is only small but she is already creating life.
Me and M are almost always together, it’s the way it’s been since we first met. If we’re ever apart we take time to brief the other on every conversation, thought and event that happened in the other’s absence We joke that this lets our minds merge back into one again.
Some day it will be Alba’s turn to fill us in and we will listen eagerly. Right now I can’t imagine ever hearing her talk back to us, but I know the time is coming and I am impatient. I bet her mind is filled with magic. Just imagine the moment you looked in a mirror and understood for the first time that the reflection was you. Imagine being in a world where everything is new and unknown. Babies can teach us so much about ourselves if we just see life through their eyes.