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January 14, 2024

Ode to a Little One—& to the Second Season of my Matrescence.

One month of being earth-side, as they say, though you’ve been here all along.
One month of being your mama in the flesh. One month of feeling and filling each other’s senses with the other’s scent.

One month of slow, sleepy days that pass too quickly, gazing at tiny milky smiles, long eyelashes framing the bluest of eyes, sweet little bendy-back thumbs on soft, soft hands, her daddy’s mouth, and a nose that is a miniature version of mine.

One month of subconscious head kissing, sniffing, my top lip constantly rubbing over smooth, downy hair while she sleeps on my chest—a sticky bond of skin, sweat, spit, and milk.

One month of being a sister. Big sister. Little sister. New sister. And so similar.
One month of pure adoration, cuddles, squeezing, endless oxytocin.
One month of defending you from being smothered by it all.
One month of keeping the balance.
There’s enough affection for the new and the old and the older still; our story.

One month of breastfeeding, broken sleep, nappies, mess, soaking this and drying that.

One month of black coffee, nursing tea, cold water, an unquenchable thirst. Breakfast any time of day or night, bedside table snacks, clothes that can double up easily as pyjamas, thick socks. The hottest-ever showers that last as long as possible, brushing my teeth whenever I remember to. Once, twice, three times today? Or was that yesterday? One month of tentative and intentional massage over every surface of this beautifully weary and much-loved body.

One month of however many layers of scar tissue healing, wound inspection, belly wrapping, questioning everything and everyone, and patiently waiting. My shower chair still sits there, just in case, for as strong as I am becoming, I can weaken all too easily.

One month of audiobooks, where each writer’s words reward me in those weird waking hours—night feeds, early morning. What time does morning officially start?

One month of being held. Me holding you. Daddy holding you. Daddy holding me. My mother holding me. And me, holding on tight to myself here as I grow into this space once again.

One month of being cared for so deeply and so tenderly. One month of big feelings; our hearts so open, so wide and so vulnerable we are see-through. We are so much more capable of covering more ground now as we adapt to our new surroundings, vast and entire. Breathing in our freshly-laid turf.

One month of our new family, now a four-sided shape, with equal vertices, where the whole is entirely the sum of its parts.

The parts and the past continue to make us. Month by month, day by day, and in every waking moment, shaping us as we feed to sleep.

~

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