The pictures hanging in our stairway reflect the joy that the past two years has brought. I see my one-year-old daughter sitting on our laps, all three of us smiling with authentic happiness at the photographer. I see her at five days old in black and white, yawning. I see family members, not often together previously, linking arms and smiling at this beautiful girl. I have also hung baby pictures of my husband and me and we now see hints of our daughter’s face in our own. She has been there all along, only now emerging. That could also be her hovering invisibly between our faces in our wedding photo as we gaze lovingly at each other, our futures uncharted before us.
I love that she and I foray into the world together. I love that she gives me the opportunity to learn and grow every day. I love that her little head rests ever so softly between my neck and shoulder after she wakes up and right before she falls asleep again.
I never thought much about continuity before becoming a mother. It now seems to me that I was always meant to be right here, right now, no matter where I am. I have noticed that I think of everything now in relation to my daughter. If I’m writing at a nearby café, I think about how she is at home with her babysitter and I am five miles west of her. I can picture an imaginary line connecting us. Even when these early years of intense need are but a memory, my heart will always belong to her.