I end the day as I began it: by padding into Betsy’s room to retrieve her sleep-warmed self for a feeding. I hold her head against my cheek as I pad back to my bed. I put her in the warm spot and curl around her, tucking her body against mine, belly to belly. Her sweetness wafts up like steam off a cinnamon roll.
I’ve had my fair share of babies, and yet it feels like it’s all whooshed by leaving hardly a trace. My memories are so few. I know the drill—I’ve said it myself to other mothers—you’ve got to enjoy each day, they go by so fast. And I do! Every day there are moments when I’m bowled over by the sweetness and light of holding a baby. I’ve gazed into Betsy’s mystic blue eyes for hours. I carry her to my bedroom mirror; I want to remember not just her, but me with her. But still, it’s not working. Each day, yesterday’s Betsy has disappeared and already the memories are melting into goop.
This week someone sent me this article by a mother whose child has a rare disorder. Instead of growing and progressing each day, her baby regresses. He’ll eventually reach a “vegetative state” and doctors expect he’ll die before he turns three. Of course I can’t imagine the heartache of mothering a child who has no future. But this mother’s essay highlights a truth every mother faces. The truth is, every mother’s child is disappearing day by day.