I see you. I see you in the mornings, bleary-eyed but cheerfully saying “we’re good!” after I know neither of you slept at all. I see you checking your baby’s feet and hands to make sure he isn’t cold. I see you constantly researching the best ways to care for your boy. You hear a friend say they got a water table for their children and worry that you’re not doing enough. You wonder if it’s okay that he might not be using his thumb and forefinger to grab things, or if it’s okay that he decided to walk before he crawled. I see you wiping up messes while you’re on the phone working, but still taking the time to wave at your baby when he looks at you. You worry when he snores because you hate thinking he can’t breathe. I see you encouraging him to eat new foods and congratulate him for trying really hard. I hear you say goodbye to him even if he’s sleeping on my lap. You talk to him about how he’s feeling and tell him you’re sorry when he’s upset.
I see you clip his fingernails while he sleeps so he doesn’t scratch his face. I hear you on the phone with the pediatrician who knows your name because you always want to make sure your baby is healthy. I watch you patiently teach him how to rake his hands through flour to see how it feels. I watch you read to him constantly and talk to him about politics. You come running if you hear him crying because dangit you just can’t help it. I hear you defend your parenting choices to your friends and family with conviction. I watch you work tirelessly for the benefit of other people and come home and give some more. You do so much, and still feel like you’re falling short on all of it.
Here’s the thing though, mama. That’s not all I see. I see his little body react like lightening when he hears your voice. I hear his delighted squeal when you walk into a room. When you come home, he can’t wait until you scoop him up for a big hug. You can’t see his face when you’re giving him 800 kisses just because, but it’s pure joy. He loves milk straight from the tap because it means he gets to spend time with you. His little legs kick so fast when he hears your heels clicking down the hall because he knows he’s about to see your face. I see you both stop what you’re doing and just melt at how much you love each other. The only thing that could get our walker to crawl is mommy being too far away. I see him laugh when you laugh and furrow his brow when you are stressed.
I see it all, mama, and I want you to know he loves you the most. And hey- just so you know- so do I.
Happy Valentines Day.