August 31, 2011

Baby Vocabulary.

I love words so much. I love them written and spoken, scribbled and typed, and I love the space between them and what that can mean, but mostly I love the way a word shapes itself in my daughter's mouth like a bubble and how she opens her lips with great care and uses her tongue as a wand to blow words into this world. This last fews months have brought Tessa lots of new words, and every week she presents them to me proudly.

Yesterday morning I started to write down her words on the chalkboard wall in our kitchen. I want to be able to remember them later on, before she starts traipsing down the path of sentences and paragraphs and car-ride conversations that make my head hurt.

As the day went on I kept scribbling her words down. I was surprised to see that she now has 25 of them to tell me what she wants or what she sees. None of her words yet tell me how she feels; she uses her tantrums and her slobbery kisses for that. Two months ago there were only eight words (thank goodness for blogging so I even know that), and she wasn't saying "mama" yet. And, really, isn't that the word that every woman who has ever wanted to be a mother most longs to hear? That word, in Tessa's mouth, is my drug. Now she gives me many, many hits of this drug everyday, and the high is not wearing off.

"Mama"and every other word that Tessa's surprised me withhas reminded me not to worry so much. Every time I start to get nervous about her hitting a milestone oranything in life reallyit tends to resolve itself without my having to do anything at all. My worry du jour is that I'll be putting a great, navy blue ocean between me and my baby next week while Nekos and I are in Barcelona. I've been waking up in the middle of the night thinking about it, and my heart feels like an anchor that's sinking to the ocean floor. But I know that she will be safe and sound with my mom, who she adores. And I know that the greatest gift I can really give Tessa is a mother who is truly happy, in her marriage, in her role as a mother, and in her own skin. I want Tessa to see that in my eyes and hear it in my words the way I hear it in hers.