Just Write: We Keep Walking

You’ve been sick these past few days. A little head cold. Nose is stuffy and eyes are red. It’s hard for you to nurse and it breaks my heart each time you pull away unable to suck and breath at the same time. You’ve been rightfully extra fussy these days and the only thing keeping Mama sane and you happy is taking walks. You prefer walking pressed up to me in the carrier. This way you can see the world from a safe distance and nurse when you feel the need. I love wearing you in the carrier but today, after hours of walking and no napping, Mama’s back is tired. But… I keep walking and I keep wearing you. We walk down the residential streets looking at the houses, making up stories of the people who call them home. We take deep breaths together, I can hear you sigh, your chest rising and your stuffy little nose crackling and wheezing every so slightly. We watch the trees that line the streets. Their branches sway back and forth. It’s a bit of a breezy day and I tuck your little arms closer into the carrier, you snuggle into my body a little closer. I kiss you on the forehead and you toss your head back a little and smile at me. “Dadadadada” you say to me or to no one or to this world you are just learning about. Your word of the day. You even mouth the dadada’s while you ride on my chest, practicing the way your tongue hits the roof of your mouth and gently pops out with each “ae” sound. You sneeze as we round the corner. “Bless you”, I say. You look up at me and watch my mouth move. You like watching me talk from inside the carrier. You can see how my tongue plays with my teeth as it finishes a sentence. We walk by some fragrant jasmine and I breathe it in and point it out to you. I like naming the flowers as we walk by them, “agapanthas, lantana, indian hawthorne.” My mother did the same when I was young and it stuck with me all these years. We keep walking. Your eyes are heavy but you don’t fall asleep. You nuzzle in for some milk and as I walk I let you eat. You peek your eyes up. You never want to miss anything. It’s too difficult to nurse and breathe. You break the latch and go back to making “dadada” sounds, watching the cars drive past us as we walk. It’s always quiet in our neighborhood. Quiet enough to hear each bird chirping. Sometimes I point them out to you on the telephone lines. Last week we saw a hawk. Your eyes got wide. Today we hear doves cooing. It’s a nice, quiet sound. We keep walking. Often I sing to you on our walks. Sometimes you listen and sometimes when you are very sleepy you start to sing with me. Oooos and Aaaaahhs. Your sleepy song. Today your body is fighting a bug and your eyes tell me you like the sound of my voice, singing you quiet lullabies, but you won’t join in today. We keep walking. We walk by the school. Children are out on the yard, playing their games. I ask you what kinds of things will you be into when you’re their age? I wonder what kind of mother I’ll be when you’re in school? I get anxious and excited just thinking about you being school-age. You feel heavier in the carrier. We keep walking. You want to nurse again. You nuzzle your head down near my breast never needing to say anything. I let you eat again and this time your head slowly releases closer to my body. Your hand grabs hold of my sweater and you’re so close to me I can almost feel your little heart beat against mine. I pull your sun hat up just a bit and as we walk I notice you have finally given in and fallen asleep. I kiss you on the forehead and I’m grateful I decided to keep walking. 

walking

* linking up a little late with Heather and Just Write.

Daddy Wears Her

dad and me

close up dad and me

daddy and ellie

jeff and ellie

My mom found this picture of my Dad wearing me in a baby carrier when I was maybe a year old. I fell in love with the picture and it now has a home perched on top of a shelf displayed in our family room. I guess it just speaks to me with all the babywearing we have done with Ellie and how important babywearing has been to us in these early months with her. My dad is and always has been a fantastic father but I didn’t peg him for being the babywearing type and to see this picture of my young father smiling ear to ear with a very happy mini me on his back just makes me warm and fuzzy all over. It reminds me of my wonderful husband and how he has taken so much to wearing Ellie on our daily walks with the dogs or out and about the town. Ellie loves being in the carriers. She dislikes riding in the stroller and needs to be very close to us the majority of her days. So, from her first few weeks of life we have used carriers to keep her secure and feeling safe and she seems to be happy as a clam as long as she’s pressed up against one of us. I love that she is so happy riding along with us and the picture of me and my Dad just reminds me of how special babywearing can be. I hope Ellie looks back on the pictures of Jeff wearing her in a carrier with fondness too one day. I know Ellie’s Daddy feels very connected any time he wears her in a carrier and what’s more special than the bond between a Daddy and his baby girl?