My First Mother's Day
My first Mother’s Day as a mom was when my daughter was a very new newborn baby. Now two months fly by so quickly in the scheme of things that I hardly realize when they go missing, but back then, in the early days of her infancy, I remember it seemed so slow. For two months I had waited for her to recognize me by sight, to smile, just yearning for some sort of milestone in those early months.
My daughter had over 1,000 photos taken of her by yours truly in her first week of life on this earth. My favorite thing to do with her when she was first born was to set her up on her Boppy pillow, surrounded by toys, blankets - you name it - and take photos of her. Audrey sleeping, Audrey playing, Audrey having tummy time, Audrey staring into space...you get the picture. Still, through all of our photo sessions, all of our time spent curled up in a rocking chair nursing, reading, and playing - my sweet little blessing had yet to recognize me by sight.
Sure, she reacted when she heard my voice, and she nuzzled into me when she was close enough to smell my skin - but I wanted the eye contact, the recognition that a daughter feels when she sees her mother.
On Mother’s Day 2007, I took Audrey into her room and laid her on her changing table to change her diaper - you know, typical mommy duty. I bent down to get a diaper and the wipes, and when I stood back up, Audrey almost jumped a bit. She locked her eyes on mine and they stayed there. Suddenly, the corners of her mouth curled up into the most beautiful smile I had ever seen - never mind the fact that it was also her first one.
In typical Erika fashion I scared the smile right off of her face when, instead of enjoying the moment, I screamed for my family to hurry up so none of them would miss her first smile. None of it mattered, because it was too late - by the time they came barreling in the door of her room she looked more startled than happy, and the smile was gone.
It didn’t matter to me though. I’ll always remember my first Mother’s Day as a mom - it was, coincidentally, also the first day that I actually felt like a mom - like I mattered to my daughter. Her first smile had been reserved for me, and it was the best Mother’s Day gift she could have ever given me.