Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Greatest Gift

Dear Delilah,

Last Christmas, I was exhausted. I was adjusting to life with a newborn and getting over the last hump of recovering from your birth. I was operating on very little sleep, although on Christmas Eve, you granted us a glorious 7 hour stretch of uninterrupted sleep! Of course, that meant that I woke up in a puddle of milk, but still, I was grateful for the rest.

You had started smiling "real smiles" a couple weeks before Christmas, but only at your daddy. As a new mother, I was so full of uncertainty and insecurity about my abilities as a parent (not to mention that I was full of all those lovely post-partum hormones coursing through me), I was sure that the fact you hadn't smiled at me yet meant that you hated me. I thought I must be failing you somehow. I thought that you saw me as merely your food source, and saw your daddy as your fun source. I'll admit, I was a little bit bitter and sad.

Then it happened. It was Christmas morning. We were sitting on the couch; you were eagerly nursing after your long night of sleep, and it happened. You looked up at me, right into my eyes, and you smiled. It was the most beautiful sight I'd ever seen. I shouted "She smiled at me!" with such glee that I'm sure the neigbors heard. Your father beamed. I cried tears of joy, and was overcome with so many emotions. With that tiny, beautiful smile, I knew that you loved me. The confidence in my role as a mother that I gained from that simple little smile was immeasurable.

I've been enjoying those smiles for a year now, and every day, they melt my heart. Your smile was and is the greatest gift I've ever been given. (Though those nice shiny 7 hour stretches of sleep are always welcome as well!)

Today, we wish a Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it. To those who don't, we wish a Happy Saturday. To everyone, everywhere, I wish a smile as sunny as yours to warm their heart and brighten their day.

Merry Christmas, little girl.



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