you grow as you sleep. i know because i see it happen, helpless to keep you as my baby forever. i imagine you’re a little uprooted tree with legs like roots, arms like branches, fingers like twigs and a crown of strawberry blonde hair like a nest.
every day you sleep and every day you grow. i miss the tenderness of my once newborn, but mostly i revel in the tiny person you are becoming. so fascinated by the world and wild with joy.
sometimes you cry a tired, heart-breaking cry with your arms stretched out toward me, sobbing ‘mama, mum, mum’ and i cradle you with your ear to my heart, my palm holding your head close. you quieten as i hold you and you burrow into my neck so i can feel your breath and the wetness from tears on my shoulder.
i secretly love how affectionate you are when you are overtired like this, other times when i wrap you in my arms you struggle and kick like a little animal. ‘alba, let me cuddle you’ i say and you squeal like you need to be set free.
teeth sprout from your bottom gum and you trace your tongue back and forth over them. they are sharp and when you feed sometimes you accidentally bite me. i yelp and you stop feeding and look up at me concerned, when i stare angrily back at you your mouth spreads into a wide grin. my heart grows a little larger like it always does and i can’t stay mad a single moment longer.
i wipe the sleep from the corners of your eyes, wet my fingers to wipe away the places my milk has dried around your mouth and finish the mango you were sucking on, it doesn’t seem strange to me. i know one day i will miss when the lines between us were so blurred we were almost one person.
at times i am so eager for the little girl you are becoming that i can almost stand the growing part.