Holy moments. February 28, 2012
It had been a rough morning. She had decided that instead of chewing on her hands when she was hungry or rubbing her eyes when she was tired she would just skip straight to the screaming. Oh, the screaming. None of my usual tricks – the mirror, running the faucet, going outside, looking at the ceiling fan – were working. SHE. WAS. NOT. HAVING. IT.
She was exhausted. I was exhausted. We were both crying. I don’t know who was more upset.
I’d been carrying her around the house for an hour. My arms were sore, my back ached, my head hurt. I opened the front door to let her look outside at the world. I’m sure we were a sight for the neighbors, her in just a diaper with a red face and wide open mouth, me in my sweats and nursing tank with one side unhooked after a failed nursing attempt and a towel on my head. Two girls at the end of their ropes.
Something about it worked for her, though. The screams got shorter, then quieter, then turned into whimpers. Her hands found their way into her mouth. I felt her little body relax into me, her head settle on my chest. Her big teary eyes watching the cars drive by. She took a deep breath. I took a deep breath.
I don’t talk a lot about holy moments. I don’t recognize them often. But standing there in the doorway, disheveled and tired and aching, I felt it. It wasn’t beautiful or graceful or sweet. It was loud and hard and overwhelming.
She is mine. To raise and help and feed and provide for. While I am learning how to be her mom, she is learning how to be, period. She already has problems I can’t fix. But I can hold her and love her and listen to her, even when all she can do is scream.
After things were settled and I put her down to nap, I checked my phone. My mom had called, right in the middle of it all, just to check on me. While I was taking care of my girl, my mom was taking care of hers.