Tuesday, November 2, 2010

the soap mohawk

Yesterday, Cordelia and I reached a much longed-for milestone - the soap mohawk. Ever since she was teensy-weensy, I have been attempting to get her hair to stand up on top of her head with the aid of baby soap at bathtime. Until last night, her fluffy chick head just didn't have enough long hair to make it happen. After each evening's attempt, I would rinse her sweet head and move on. Last night, I called from the bathtub to Doug to GET THE CAMERA. It was a sweet moment, getting a picture of those curls of hair standing up on her head, just like I imagined they would. Cordelia seemed proud of herself, reflecting my pleasure in her smile.

Who knows why I have so looked forward to the soap mohawk? Maybe it is because of all the other little babies I tortured in the bathtub with this procedure. My little brother was probably my first victim, followed closely by all the other little sweeties I babysat for and loved.

Certain life moments have stood out for me as they have arrived in our life with Cordelia. It has sometimes surprised me which ones slide by with hardly a nod and which ones cause tears to well up in my eyes. Everybody says that the baby time flies by. I can not count the number of times I have been advised to, "Enjoy it while you can... before you know it she'll be off to college." Comments like that make me panic a little. And time does flow quickly by. I can hardly believe that Cordelia is nine months old already, that she sleeps through the night, and babbles and snuggles and smiles and has clear preferences for things. Certain things that she used to do constantly have faded into the past. New tricks emerge onto the scene daily, if not hourly. This constant change and letting go can act on a person like a whirlwind of grief. I can see why people are always warning me about the perils of the passage of time. But honestly, I'm doing pretty well with it. Rather than mourning each change like a loss, I'm savoring. I'm savoring the right now of our time together. I'm savoring Cordelia.

Many of you know that I looked forward to having a baby from the time I was a teenager. I knew I would be a mommy someday. I HAD TO be a mommy. Now that the time is here, I am savoring it. There are moments of challenge and struggle, fear and sadness, just like in any time of life. Savoring doesn't mean that there is nothing bad about this time, nor that I seek to enshrine these moments or hold myself in this place in time. I look forward to things as much as I ever did. I'm chock full of longing, just like always. What savoring means is that I'm trying to BE HERE NOW as much a possible. I'm trying to keep myself from being sidetracked by grieving what has just passed away or what is the next coming attraction. It feels like a spiritual practice, somehow. And, so far, I think it is shaping me into a pretty happy person.
Of course, now that we've achieved the soap mohawk, we will be doing it every single time we're in the bath. AND looking forward to clips and bows and braids and ponytails too.

1 comment:

Amy said...

"This constant change and letting go can act on a person like a whirlwind of grief. I can see why people are always warning me about the perils of the passage of time. But honestly, I'm doing pretty well with it. Rather than mourning each change like a loss, I'm savoring. I'm savoring the right now of our time together."

thank you, jennifer, for such a lovely sentiment. this is the kind of thing i try to remind myself of on a daily basis! and your words of wisdom just help light the path.
love, amy. :)