Kiwi and I are pretty much obsessed with each other these days.
I fell in love with my baby the instant I met her. Hell, I loved her from the moment I saw that telltale + on the stick I peed on. But this last month, when Kiwi turned 9 months, has brought our mutual adoration to a whole new level.
Take, for example, the moment I arrive home and walk in the door. As soon as Kiwi hears my voice, she squeals at a pitch high enough to make poor Finn flinch. Then she crawls toward me as fast as she can as a quadruped. She won’t stop until she’s in my arms.
And when I lift her up, I feel as if I’ve regained some essential part of myself.
Eric and I laugh because we constantly catch each other petting Kiwi’s super-soft head. I cherish the close-up interactions with her as she looks into my eyes from mere centimeters away (even if she does goober me with a faceful of drool). And I somehow manage to find a bright side to her getting up at a ridiculous hour: I have uninterrupted one-on-one time with my baby.
(It takes a lot of love to get over a 5am wake-up call.)
I recently took a kids-free weekend trip to the beach with some of my closest girlfriends. When I came back, Kiwi was beyond excited to see me—and I her. She was also hungry: She barely ate the bottles Eric prepared for her and subsisted mostly on oatmeal while I was away.
So we camped out in bed and she nursed. Then she nursed some more. She nursed until I had no milk left, but she didn’t pull off. Instead, she just hung out. Kiwi stayed latched and let her fingers meander over my face, shoulders, arms and neck. And she locked eyes with me. We stared at each other—into each other—for what seemed like forever. The rest of the world stopped as we melted into each other.
A few days ago, as Kiwi was breastfeeding, my heart simply broke open. I wrote about that feeling with Peeper here, so it wasn’t brand-new. Still, the experience took away my breath.
It was an unremarkable moment that brought it on. She was hungry, so I was feeding her. She got drowsy, and her hands slowly opened and closed on my chest. As I gazed down at her, I knew I would do absolutely anything for her. I was consumed by the love I felt—as if it were a sound so loud it blocked out anything else and left my core reverberating.
Words are so inadequate. But the feeling is still there.
Kiwi is three-quarters of a year old. She is growing, and so is my love for her. Sometimes I think I can’t bear to love her any more—that my love will tear me open as it expands—but I somehow keep stretching. It turns out that we’re all growing together.