Monday, December 12, 2011


20110907-IMG_8702 20110907-IMG_8701 

Three years ago I stretched out and staggered through my first experience bringing life into this world. I approached the process with an embarrassing amount of conviction for how raising a child, loving a person, pushing, laboring and delivering was supposed to be done.

Dotter arrived 10 days overdue. Days that dismayed me. My pregnancy was easy and there was nothing uncomfortable about her late arrival. While I was anxious to move to the next stages of nourishing and caring for her, I was not bursting or bitter. I ate, spent time with friends and settled into a new daily freedom that only an unemployed expecting mother can understand. I gave into nesting by painting and priming and requesting lists from trusted mother friends on needed supplies.

Once she arrived I made lists (and still do) of her firsts and other punctuated happenings. Words, sentences, steps, dates with Daddy. But with Dotter those firsts have slowed. She does almost everything by herself and is always excited and willing to learn. Something about this innocence and delight she takes in being alive took me in today. She was jumping on our bed in aqua and fuchsia and I was taking her photograph when she suddenly stopped and moved her hand to her chest, "Mommy, can you hear that? Its my heart beating." Her heart. That is what is growing.

She comforts her friends, strangers and family who are hurt. She can differentiate strangers from family, family from friends, pretty and clean from pretty and disheveled. She has manners and knows how to hold a baby all by herself. She lights up every place she goes. She is persistent and independent and quick. She needs her own time and loves to read. She gets confused and mixed up (as we all do) tangling what she needs and wants and what she feels and senses.

My milestone is that I realize how little and how very very much I know about life, about what is right, about how to love someone. Much more than before she was mine. It is a daunting daring task this mothering thing. A task that is growing my heart with hers.


  1. Ash, this is so beautifully written. You have a gift with painting pictures - not only with the flash of your camera, but with your words. These words will be cherished by Dotter when she is older. xoxo

  2. Loved this.

    I wonder, sometimes too frequently, how those who don't have children grow, stretch, and learn patience as one with children does. Either they don't need it, or I need a lot more of it.