Three years ago I woke in the morning with Big Daddy and told him he shouldn’t go to work just yet. I was having some mild contractions. We timed and called the doctor. We waited at home and timed some more and then drove off to the hospital.
It was the day Michael Jackson died.
It was the weekend that the White Sox and the Cubs were playing the crosstown classic and I insisted the t.v. be turned off so my baby wouldn’t be born to a baseball game.
For the difficulty of her pregnancy, she was born easily. A short (for me) labor and just a few pushes. Of course, at little less than two weeks early, she was our tiniest baby by far. Not even seven pounds. No clothes would stay on her teeny little body. Her narrow shoulders would work out of all the the tiniest sleepers. She fit into the crook of my lap, like she’d been perfectly sized to allow me to have my hands free for my other girls.
She breastfed easily and happy and voraciously until I had to cut her off cold turkey at two because she refused to accept any sort of gradual weaning due to her huge personality which is one of the biggest things about her (her courage, is the biggest).
She was a happy baby, who slept little like her next biggest sister. She slept tucked into the middle (yes, yes, I know) and would sleep happily with one hand reaching for me and one reaching for Big Daddy.
She was a beautiful baby (and is a beautiful child) but she was the sort of baby that people would stop you to look at. Of course, we agreed. She was beautiful. How could you think otherwise?
She’s the end. The final segment in our line of lovely girls.
“Are you a big girl? Or a baby?”, I ask.
“Baby!”, she chirps. And she’s tiny, with delicate little fingers and toes and the most beautiful teeny face so I can pretend that all that’s true even though she’s grown so big.
“I don’t want it! I don’t want it”, she insists loudly regarding anything from food that she’s too busy to eat, to a shopping cart she has to be loaded into.
She fits into crooks of elbows and other tiny spaces, preferring to wedge herself behind your shoulder as you sit together, her chin resting on your shoulder as she watches things.
She is not an angel. No, they’re delicate for her. She’s an imp. A sprite. A skipping little fairy child. But, it’s what we needed. We have the Princess, the grand debater. The refined one. We have Littlebit. The sunshiny diva. And Baby Bee comes in at the end. She spins until she falls over. She runs with a little two footed hop that makes it look shes some little magical creature on the lam. She plays pretend that is so sweeping and imaginative and big that it cannot be contained to the house or even the car, but carries over into the library or the store.
When you are carrying your children, you imagine the to be a certain way. Maybe they’ll be bookish or funny, you think. Maybe they’ll like science or sports. You imagine them, as they kick at your stomach and push their elbows out of your skin, as the people they’ll be. But I never think anyone gets it quite right and what you get is exactly the child you needed at the place you need them. Baby Bee is that exactly. The exact right little person at the exact right little time. Full of sweetness and mayhem and mirth wrapped up in an adorable, delicate, tiny package that sits just right on my hip, with her little feet swinging free topped off with a Minnie bow.
I just could not love her more. It’s been a grande 1096 days. I can’t wait to see where she goes next.