Those first few weeks with an infant are incredibly precious. You are both enveloped in a kind of irreplaceable primordial magic… once that time has passed, all you have left is to remember that time. In some cultures, the first month of life, or sometimes the first three months, is considered to be a sacred time. You have this new life in your arms that is completely reliant upon your care… and it’s fragile beyond belief! It’s almost scary how delicate newborns are; insomnia-inducing scary. It was hard enough to get this precious new life here, and now that it is, all you want to do is stare at it while it sleeps, making sure that it still draws those soft, tiny breaths. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first, your third, or your first; you still get caught up in their care, in how gentle you have to be.
It’s magical how tiny everything is with an infant… her forearm is hardly longer than my thumb, her toes are smaller than my vitamins, her nose is like my fingerprint. But then there’s the eyes… a baby’s eyes are big and full of awe, taking in everything in the world for the first time. Literally the first time, not the metaphorical first time that adults who are rediscovering themselves talk about. Everything is amazing for them. They can barely see, but it’s still better than the blurs of light and darkness that they got in the womb. And when she looks at you? It’s beautiful all over again.
You only get a short time with those delicate sounds, and then everything changes. You have to enjoy that time while you can, so it’s like being in a precious kind of limbo, or a faerie ring. You and the newborn can sit together in the circle of mushrooms until she’s older and more used to life… when she’s not as fragile as faerie silk and spider webs. Hold her head just right, keep her warm, let the milk flow, lay her on your chest so she can hear your heart again. Because sometimes the most precious thing in the world is a heartbeat. Everything else can stand perfectly still, for all you care.
Once that time is over, and she can move the way she wants, roll over, hold objects, then the wind can blow again. Life can go back to moving, and you can join in on that dance. Yes, it’s all metaphorical. Sometimes you only understand these metaphors if you’ve been there yourself… if you’ve lived in that delicate primordial state that is life with a newborn. It is magic and beauty, it is precious, it is rare and brief.
…And it is definitely worth it.