Thursday, December 4, 2008
Last night, I had the enviable task of snuggling with Nourit in the Ikea chair in her bedroom. Now that Mike is gone from the apartment most days, she stays up later to spend time snuggling with him and they end up having some pretty interesting conversations while I'm in the kitchen doing the dishes, or trying to put Avi to bed. But Mike injured his knee yesterday, rendering him unable to sink into the depths of the chair to snuggle, so the job fell to me.
As we were sitting there, I tried desperately to recall what it was like to hold her there as a baby. I tried to remember how she would look at me while she was nursing, or how she would pull on my long hair (something she still does.) I tried, but all I could come up with were images of photos we'd taken of her when she was an infant, or an articulation of those things - but not the actual memory. I remember in general that she was an easy baby, that I loved our time together when she was nursing, but I can't connect her babyhood looks and actions to her ever-emerging personality at 1 1/2, or 2, or now almost 3 years of age. There's a disconnect somehow. Why can't I recall something I was physically and emotional present for almost constantly?
I look at Avi and am so conscious of the fact that the baby I'm getting to know now might be a completely different little girl. How much of her tenacity in getting my attention, or getting mobile will translate into her character later on? Will I see as many smiles on her face at 3 years of age as I do now? How can I hold on to a moment or two of this evolving and growing person's life?
On a whim, I asked Nourit about memories during her, thus far, short life. Her answer made me laugh to myself, and although I doubt she really remembers things from her infancy, I still have to wonder if a little of it is true.
"Nourit, do you remember being a baby?"
"Yes, I cried because I wanted to eat big-girl food. I cried because I didn't want breastmilk, but I wanted big-girl food."