Eleanor is three weeks old today, and she has already taught me so many lessons. Today’s lesson is about seeing the world through Eleanor’s eyes and how that changes my whole world. This little girl is something special – that’s for sure. Someday, I am sure, she will blow us all away.
I am obsessed with Shutterfly. Obsessed. We started a Shutterfly account so Ellie’s Padrinos and their families could see updates on how Ellie is growing and changing. They have not logged in yet. Little did I know this site would become my latest obsession! Did you know they give you one free photo book a month? Did you know that 4×4 and 4×6 prints are free? Any additional prints are $0.86 a print for 5x7s? I’m obsessed.
By week three, I have created three photo books Ellie’s First Days, Grandparents’ Visit, and I’m working on a third book of Ellie memories. I’m uploading photos every day, and every day I’m seeing something that makes me want to take a photo. This is the first time Ellie met Uncle Ian or that time we tried to trace Ellie’s hands for her baby book or OMG, the way she’s wearing her sleepsack looks like she’s dabbing. In the age of the mobile phone, all of these images are easy to capture and print in a forever book by Shutterfly.
And I’m not even sponsored by them. I’m just in love.
My obsession led me to a very important lesson about Ellie: Everything is new and it changes so fast. Ellie is so very different than the baby-blob we brought home twenty days ago. She’s lifting her head and looking toward sounds. She’s listening for voices and loud noises startle her. She’s awake for hours at a time now, and during that time, all she wants to do is look around, look at her hands, coo, and smack her lips.
She’s an inch longer than when we brought her home. She feels so much bigger than that because she already cannot wear certain footed-pajamas from her drawer. She feels so much bigger because she’s moving herself around with such vehemence. She’s such a pistol when she’s awake – grunting, cooing, singing when she’s awake. So much more than when we brought her home a short three weeks ago.
Last night, in the middle of the night, I was holding her after I dressed her, and she was looking at me so intensely. I don’t know how much she sees yet, but the thought of “To her: I will never look like I do in this moment again.” Her eyesight is changing so rapidly and she is gaining more and more depth to her vision, that this blur she sees today as Mama will not be the same blur as tomorrow. I will continue to grow more and more clear in her vision until she can see that magical 12-18″ she’s supposed to by the second month.
It is an amazing experience to be along for this ride with Eleanor. I guess that’s one of the things that draws humans to continue to propagate the Earth. I get to see what every other human life in the history of human lives has EVER experienced in their early days of living. They all must draw breath for the first time, digest food for the first time, eliminate waste for the first time, see their hands for the first time, recognize Mama by sight for the first time. And I’m alongside Eleanor for it all.
I take for granted that I can pour myself a soft drink with ice at lunch and put a straw in it and sip it while I type on a computer and words appear as I think them. Eleanor can’t digest a soft drink, she wouldn’t know what to do with ice, she can’t use a straw yet, and there’s no possibility of words, computers, complex sentences and thoughts. She’s the very ultimate in beginner’s mind as they say in yoga.
At this age, she is changing so fast that it is hard to take every little change for granted. Today, she can hold her own head up for just a moment before it’s too much and it comes crashing down on my shoulder. That’s too hard for her today, whereas, in a very short time, she will be peering over my shoulder and looking around like it’s no big deal. And all of these changes happen before she has any memory of making these changes.
If I could take one thing with me into Eleanor’s next several months and years, it would be to allow me to always remember this sense of awe and newness with her. If I could approach each moment they way I have with Eleanor, I would be a more mindful and blissful person. Each moment is a moment I will never have again with the same little baby blob because she is changing so much. However, as I think about this, it’s really true about every moment. It just took me seeing these moments through Eleanor’s eyes to realize it.