the pre-half-birthday world

You're just like an angel. You're skin makes me cry. 

One week from today she will be one-half of a year. Six-months of a life. And I will wake up to her smiling, her fingers in my mouth, unaware of the changes that occurred in the night while we were all sleeping, a new strand of light in the window. Like any other day, she'll suppose.  

Unaware of my arms tightening around her or my words as I whisper to her father that I must hold on to her for dear life. Memorize the tiny pearls she wears as buttons before they fall off her blouses in the wash, lost at sea with my old socks and drowned lighters. 

I cleaned out her drawers today. Plucked dresses from their sleeves and onesies from their stains and formerly white socks I accidentally dyed purple. And she watched me from the bed, her feet in her hands, gurgling with her tide pool sounds.

"This is what I brought you home in the hospital wearing," I said. "And this is what you wore the day my mother and I dressed you up and took pictures" and "On Christmas you fell asleep in my arms wearing this as we all sang songs with paper crowns on our heads and held up our glasses and said Cheers! To a beautiful new life at the table and that life, little Fable was you."

And then I promised* her I wouldn't cry as I folded her little clothes in little piles and put them away in little plastic bags. 

Moments later I was licking my fingers, wiping clean the mascara clumps from her gingersnap hair. 

*I guess I lied. 

GGC 

58 comments:

Hope | 12:11 PM

Beautiful! The post and her!

Ashley | 12:17 PM

I love your words.

I have those moments with Stella, my only daughter quite often. I fear I hold her too tight sometimes but I'm too scared to let go. They are precious, these baby girls. And we are lucky.

Hilary | 12:23 PM

I love "her gingersnap hair," that's just what it looks like from here. Lovely.

tam | 12:32 PM

It's amazing to think that it's your last time doing all of these things you cherish doing. That this "time" is here and then gone.
I have a son who is 2.5 and will have a daughter in August. I think that'll be the end of breeding for me, but I am already crying at the thought of her feet being too big for the little socks that my son grew out of so fast.
Thankyou, thankyou for sharing these moments with us... just to make them last a little bit longer.

Joy | 12:35 PM

Happy pre-half-birthday Fable!

I recently had to clean out my daughter's (10 months) closet to make room for more goodies and and had many teary moments too. I started dreaming of having another little girl to wear all the cute outfits. Shhh, don't tell my hubby I'm coveting another baby so I can keep the clothes out of storage.

Smiles!

Allison the Meep | 12:44 PM

Is it weird to say that when I need a cute baby fix, I come to your blog? I want to nom nom nom her face.

steph anne | 12:51 PM

Aww your daughter is so beautiful! She's lucky to have you as a mommy! :)

Sandi | 12:56 PM

You always make me cry! If you would quit boobing, maybe I would too! DAMN!

Sarah | 1:12 PM

And now I am crying as well!
She's smashingly beautiful as always!

Em | 1:16 PM

I completely understand what you are saying. My darling little girl is 9 months old and on a recent day I went through this same ritual of packing up the clothes she has grown out of and moving the next size into her drawers.

I am continually in awe of how quickly time passes. People always say "they grow up so fast." I had a vague understanding of what they were saying, but until you actually see that tiny infant grow into a smiling baby, you don't really understand. And then she's crawling, and now she's standing. Before long, she will take off on two legs and before I know it I will no longer be able to protect her because she will be off on her own.

Kim Julin Guyader | 2:35 PM

My MacBook is about to fry as I am quickly trying to mop up my tears from the keyboard. Just this morning I was talking about cleaning out my soon-to-be 5 month old daughters closet, as onesies are now tight and footie PJ's are straining. She is our second girl, and will be our last baby. And oh how the time has flown already....

Happy Almost Half Year Birthday, Sweet Fable.

GingerB | 2:38 PM

Oh how I love to see the other mommies who are knocked off their feet by their babies, as I am. You give me joy. Sometimes I feel so mentally instable, whanging back and forth between moods that include cycnisicm and sarcasm and then the polar opposite with that that overwhelming motherlove that leaves me licking baby skin and snuzzling hair and weeping over clothes grown too small. Ladies, I am glad we are all in this together. Fable is fabulous!

Karen | 2:48 PM

Thank God(dess) you had a girl so we could read all these sweet words. Just lovely...

Kelli | 3:01 PM

Well said as always.
I am going through the exact same thing with my 8 month old daughter as well. She will most likely be my one and only child, and she is geting too big, too fast. Now I must go kiss her and cry a bit.

Issas Crazy World | 3:06 PM

Beautiful post and beautiful Fable. Go ahead and cry though. I did. My son turned six months yesterday and I bawled. But today....today he's just one day older, still a tiny newborny to his mom. :)

susan | 3:22 PM

ok...I am nearly an alien in my lack of baby-lust. but Fable? i heart her big time. she's so CUTE and the way you love her??? it just gets me. may all your days together be as wonderful as these beginning months!! :)

amber | 3:47 PM

is there a more beautiful baby on the face of the planet? i wonder if i'll have kids that cute someday.

Rachel | 4:17 PM

beautiful, thank you

Ray | 5:19 PM

A happy early six months to Fable and you! Once again such beautiful, beautiful words. Fable's going to love reading this one day. Sad that babes have to grow up, but she'll be a great girl/teenager/woman because she has you as her mother. <3

HBD | 5:37 PM

Rebecca, it only gets better. ;)

nancy | 5:46 PM

I agree with HBD. She's going to be getting into adventures with Archer, dressing up the dog, telling you jokes, and asking Daddy to play her favorite song "Again again!" Each milestone they pass and leave behind opens up new discoveries yet to be made.

And think of how much fun it will be when she can go shopping with you and help you pick out her clothes--when you're actively teaching her about your sense of style. Good times.

EdenSky | 5:52 PM

Yep, the best is yet to come, but still the tinyness is hard to let go and we are all on the verge of tears at all times. My own personal baby used the potty today, and yes, I cried.

April | 5:54 PM

*sniffle* you just made me cry too. why is it so fleeting?

Prasti | 6:04 PM

i was just thinking about how quickly time passes...in a blink of an eye my sweet little baby daughter has changed into a little girl.

always a bittersweet moment watching them grow.

Cribsheet Kay | 6:17 PM

*sigh*

Thanks for making me all misty.

I just gave a box of my one year old girls hand-me-downs to a co-worker for his baby daughter.

I stood there and held up each piece and told him the story of when she wore it, which dresses were in heavy rotation, which one's made her eyes stand out, which were the coziest.
I held them up and said "Someday you'll look back at these little pants and won't believe she was ever this tiny..."

He just stared blankly back at me.

Okay, so maybe he won't.

(but I know his wife appreciates the clothes as much as I do)

Desiree Fawn | 6:29 PM

oh boy. my eyes are barely dry.

beckyferris | 7:07 PM

i love how much you love her. it's nice to see that and imagine my future and see my past. thanks for sharing.

cathartic | 7:30 PM

omg... im crying. im sad. mine is one week from 4 months. i dont want her to grow anymore. thank you for your post.

sunny | 7:34 PM

my third (and final) baby is 7 months old....sigh. i was just telling my husband how i wish the first year was spread out over two years instead. they change so rapidly and it kills me.

i remember in the early weeks, trying to study his precious face as he slept, hoping to imprint the moment to my memory. but i can't even remember it now, except in pictures. so weird.

i'm always reminding myself to drink it all in, and be present, and savor every sweet kiss.

precious children. what a gift they are!

Justice Jonesie | 7:40 PM

What a nice post and sweet memories! Love it.

angie | 8:20 PM

She. Is. Beautiful.

Babe in Babeland | 8:29 PM
This comment has been removed by the author.
samantha jo campen | 8:37 PM

For as long as I can remember my mom has been celebrating my half birthday. Every October 7th I get a birthday card cut in half, and while I lived at home I'd get half a cake or half a cupcake. Half birthdays are important!

Your love for her is so beautiful and you express it so wonderfully. Thank you for letting your readers in.

Babe in Babeland | 9:08 PM

You're such a beautiful writer and a beautiful spirit. I stumbled upon your blog a while back, and I've enjoyed reading it. Though I'm on the opposite side of the country (NYC), I feel like you're my West coast soul sister!

Beth in SF | 9:13 PM

This is so sweet, and made me tear up a little bit. My first little baby will be turning 1 in just 8 short weeks, and I am a wreck already. Glad to know I'm not the only mommy who wants the kiddo to stay a baby forever.

Britte | 12:22 AM

It's amazing, beautiful, breathtaking, eye-opening, wonderful, and oh so sad to watch a child grow older day by day.

Maeby | 4:45 AM

It's not a mom thing, she really IS that beautiful.

Erin, Nick and Merrick | 5:56 AM

She is just too pretty! And you can see alot of your son in her.

shoutingforha | 7:13 AM

Beautiful post.

I still get teary eyed when I pack up my boy's clothes... and he just turned eight. They grow up so quickly.

mare | 7:26 AM

OMG! She really does have your eyes!

Frosty | 7:38 AM

My mother told me that one of the things she most regrets is that she didn't take the time to enjoy her babies while they were babies. She was always looking forward to when they could finally [insert accomplishment here]. It is so wonderful, so incredible, that you are able to enjoy every moment you have with your children. Your whole family is blessed because of it. You set a wonderful example for mothers everywhere.

vertigobcooks | 7:53 AM

My daughter is almost 11 months and I have to sort the baby clothes. I keep putting it off. The little pink and brown jumper the day I found out I was having a girl makes my heart hurt. I don't want to pass it on. I want to frame it! As I was nursing her this morning, I realized that we won't have this time too much longer. She is starting to lose interest already. She is so busy, pulling herself up, pulling away. This is the hardest part of parenting...the letting go.

http://vertigobcooks.wordpress.com

Amanda | 8:40 AM

Fables make the world go 'round!

Adventures In Babywearing | 9:51 AM

I know this. Exactly.

Steph

Deanna | 1:17 PM

I'm assuming your post title is a nod to "The Post-Birthday World." I loved that book! (I don't have babies; I just have books - and cats.)

mfk | 2:27 PM

My mom always celebrated our half-birthdays too... I think it's a nice tradition for little kids, six months means a lot when you're young. I am about to reach into the computer and grab Fable from your arms and blow raspberries on her cheeks, by the way, so watch out. I don't know how you manage to look at the camera in pictures... I think my nose would be permanently glued to her head, or my lips to her face, if she were mine.

Emery Jo | 3:43 PM

how is she SIX MONTHS OLD already?

not possible!!

what a lucky little gal she is to have you helping guide her through life.

mom2nji | 5:53 PM

In a world of mommy bloggers that frequently showcase the hard parts of babyhood, your beautiful and boundless love for your kids is inspiring!

denese | 6:18 PM

she is so beautiful, my milk lets down. thanks for making me cry yet again. you're so kind to remind me that this having-an-infant-daughter thing is pretty much the best ever.

Shannon and Carey | 6:21 PM

Happy 1/2 year beautiful Fable. Man do I hate getting rid of stuff.....makes me sad. But passing along has to be done. Sniff sniff
-Shannon in Austin

Anonymous | 12:09 AM

ridiculously beautiful little girl.

Anonymous | 8:17 AM

Oh, now you've got me crying! Putting away the too-small baby clothes makes me fall apart too. Begging them to stay little doesn't seem to work for me, either. This is a beautiful post, and you have a very beautiful daughter. :)

Man, this post came across as... well, familiar isn't the right word, but it reminded me of another one of your posts. But then I sifted through your archives and remembered:

http://www.girlsgonechild.net/2005/11/dear-archer-sage.html

Time sure flies, doesn't it? Wow.

kittenpie | 9:16 AM

I am finding the whole thing so much different this time. I don't know if it's because I now have the experience of falling in love iwth a babe, so it's so much easier to do so, if it's because he's easier than Pumpkinpie, if it's because I know he's my last babe, or if it's because I'm just getting sappier in my old age, but I am enjoying and savouring the babyhood so much more this time, and while I couldn't wait to get the first partover with last time, I'm finding myself shocked at how fast six months has gone this time.

Maddie | 5:08 PM

ginger snap hair. very sweet. she is such a beautiful little girl!

patty | 8:49 PM

this is beautiful... she is beautiful :)

Adrianne | 7:47 AM

Have you read "The Post-Birthday World"? The title of this blog made me think of it. It's a good book.

Loukia | 11:30 AM

Do you realize how often I have tears in my eyes when I read your posts? AND I am at work... Lordy, woman! You have a way with words! I love it! It is so bittersweet, how quickly they grow, isn't it? I can't handle it, either...

Aimee Greeblemonkey | 11:57 AM

6 months. It really is a momentous time.