She pulled out of her purse a small, silver, Kodak easy share camera, like a proud Momma showing off her brag book. She turned it on and began to show me the most recent pictures of her children. There was her youngest daughter who is growing into such a stunning young girl, and there were pictures of laughter and silly moments between siblings on the couch. Then she got to the pictures of her oldest daughter who just turned eighteen-years-old last week. She had pictures of her in her poster-clad room surrounded by all the latest heart throbs, and pictures of her getting ready for her first real date. Then she came to a picture of this same daughter asleep on the couch with her hands curled up underneath her chin. This particular picture really took my breath away, because I had seen that sleeping face before. I had seen that face because it looked my little girl who turned the big 20-months-old last month. They look the same because they are related; the young sleeping beauty was my sister-in-law, and the proud Momma my Mother-in-law. I smiled as she showed me that last picture and said, “That’s your baby.”
She nodded and smiled a bittersweet smile and said “Yes, she is.”
I remembered that moment as I tucked my baby into her “big girl bed” for the night. As she falls asleep she likes me to wrap my arm around her and she snuggles up beside the bed rail nearest me. Sometimes I attempt to sing her a lullaby, in which she promptly shakes her head “No” and holds up her little hand. However, tonight she seemed to welcome it. I softly sang her, her lullaby that I came up within the first early weeks of her life. That song starts out and finishes with:
You are my baby, baby of mine…
Those words are just as true now as they were when she was a mushy, pink ball of a newborn with her head nuzzled against my neck in the wee early morning hours. That song will still be appropriate when I look upon her the night before we move her into her own dorm room, or first apartment someday. Although, I have a sneaky suspicion she won’t let me sing her, her lullaby that night.
While sitting beside her bed as she drifts off into a deeper sleep I think on that with every day that passes she gets farther and farther away from actually being my small little baby. That’s okay. She is developing into such a healthy and smart little girl that I only look forward to what she will bring into our lives, and the incredible person she will become someday. Her father never ceases to amaze me with his talent and intelligence and I see so much of him within her.
I am the youngest to my sister by nine years. While my sister and I are well into our adult years, my mom still introduces me as her baby. When I was a teenager I would roll my eyes at such a comment, and as I got older, I wished she would choose a more mature title for me. Then when I became a mom myself, I understood exactly why she called me that.
You will always be your mother’s baby no matter how old you get. You will always be that tiny newborn breathing sweet milk breath against her cheek, or that busy little toddler that sometimes falls asleep with stray crayon marks here and there on her chubby hands. You will even be your Mother’s baby when you are that stubborn teenager who closes her self in her room for hours on the phone. You are still your Mother’s baby even when you have a baby yourself.
If you are like me and still have your Mother alive and in your life, be sure to pick up the phone and give her a call. She’s always ready to talk to her baby.