Which words might I possibly select and in what possible order might I arrange them so that they come even close to describing all that my beautiful daughter is?
These photos do a much better job.
But even then, they are not everything. They are not enough. Not nearly enough.
Because you have to be her mother in order to understand. Being her father comes close but, for now, being her mother affords the very best seat in the house to watch the unfolding of this tiny life.
If I wrote one thousand words, showed you one thousand pictures, you could not know her as I do. If I showed you a photo of her smile, you couldn't possibly know, as I do, that just seconds before her bottom lip had been dropped in preparation to cry. Her little downturned mouth almost as rewarding as her sunshine of a smile because it is her and she is teaching me who she is with each emotion she expresses.
And I am so very eager to learn.
Her snuffles, her cries, the beginnings of laughter – I hear them all. But those are the easy ones to describe. What about the sound she makes when I take too long getting the boob to her mouth? When she finally latches on, there is a sound she makes that is almost a muffled reproach, like, "Mum! That was close! I nearly lost it with you. Don't do that to me!" Or when we are sitting perfectly still together, gazing at one another as I cradle her in the perfect nest of my arms, and like a baby bird, she coos up at me, the softest little coo.
There are a million more. And I am front row for all of them. For now, they are mine.
If I could share them with you, really convey them, would I? Maybe not. It is sort of lovely to secret them away in my soul and indulge in this fleeting time where I am still her whole world.