“Seeing you for the first time I was…”
You were so small. Tiny. They measured you stretched out at 20.5 inches, which later turned out to be wrong, unless you shrank, but I wasn’t surprised considering that they lay you complaining on a sheet of paper and drew two haphazard marks that were supposed to represent your north and south poles, utterly inadequate, but who really cares when the ruddy, furry, fragile thing is squawking for her mother? Twenty point five inches is the span of space between my wrist and my shoulder. I measured it to prove the point of how small you were, but now that distance seems impossibly great. Suffice it to say that measured length, though reported in every email by every new parent, is meaningless. You were always curled up, obeying the comforting strictures of the womb, even when you had the run of the universe.
Your weight tells the better story. Light, lighter even than your light brother, so light you were barely a thing. The nurses thought so, too. They were all in a rush to weigh you because you might have been too small, and something medical would have to be done about that. But you had just enough heft.
Awed. I didn’t think I would be. I had done it before, seen it before. Or maybe I wasn’t actually awed but simply observant, wondering if I would be awed because I had done it before, and in the wondering I destroyed some of the awe that would have been there if that cold part of my brain hadn’t decided to withhold itself out of curiosity.
The worry, though, began straight away.
You had a nice coat on you. Did it keep you warm at all? It seemed almost thick enough to. I already began to mourn the day you would lose it. Nothing makes you lose your grip on time more than a newborn baby. Those days of explosive growth. Oh I wanted so fiercely to protect you! I guess that’s love.