Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Baby Girl

Anyone who has seen Disney's "Dumbo" more than once will recall the scene where Dumbo's caged mother cradles her infant elephant in her trunk through the bars of her circus prison . . . and the song that plays . . .

If it were up to one and only one sentimental, sappy moment in animation that would clearly illustrate how I feel about my daughter, I think this would be it.

Not that I feel like a caged elephant or anything (okay, maybe sometimes), but the tenderness, the fleeting feeling of the scene, the love that pours through the grainy images (I don't think they've "digitally remastered" this one yet) on the screen evoke all the emotions I feel when I am allowed to rock my girl-baby for just one little moment before she is off and running circles around me because she "is not a baby, mom" and "doesn't need to rock". Oh, how she does. She does need to rock. She will never be too old to rock.

I smooth her blonde hair, which is now hanging down her back between her shoulder blades, and I curl my fingers up in it and breathe deep.

"Mommy, can you rub my face?" she asks after we've finished her bedtime story, and I know that she wants me to trace the outline of her eyes and follow the bridge of her little nose, skipping over her lips down to her chin before circling up along her cheeks and back to her eyebrows where I will do it all over again, until she is good and drowsy.

And the light in her bedroom gets grainy, like an old cartoon, with the night that envelops it, as it should, when it is bedtime. I can no longer make out the details of her face, only the outline that it is there. I can hear the up and down falling of her breathing, getting deeper and more relaxed with each exhalation. I know she's close.

So I carefully scoot myself out from under her covers and slide off the edge of her big-girl bed, picking up a beloved stuffed animal that has fallen onto the floor, putting books back on the shelf.

I sprinkle her forehead with the nighttime magic that has been created between my children and myself, the magic that her brothers still get, even though they're "big".

"Don't go, mommy," she says, barely able to move her lips because the sleep is right there, waiting to take her.

And I don't want to go.

I don't want to leave the womb of her room, on this last night of her third year.

I want to stay in there forever, and drink her sweetness, her innocence, her littleness.

Tomorrow she'll be four. Tomorrow she'll be a girl. No longer able to be called a "toddler". And I'm just not ready.

Because wasn't it just yesterday that she looked like this,

Happy 4th Birthday, Baby Girl.

My trunk will always be here for you, baby mine.


Family Adventure said...

Beautiful. Bedtime is magical.
Happy Birthday little one :)


Queen of the Mayhem said...

I ALWAYS cry my EYES out during that part!

What a sweet post! I felt same when Junior Mayhem just turned four...well, without the sweetness part! (He's always been kind of a sh*t...but he's my, well....you get the idea!) :)

Happy birthday...sweet girl!

Alexandra's World said...

That's so sweet!!

Not The Mama said...

Oh what a sweet post. And what a sweet baby girl.

Kellan said...

Carrie, this was a perfectly beautiful tribute to your precious little girl. Happy Birthday Baby Girl - Have the happiest of days.

Becky said...

omg that made me cry. STOP IT! so beautiful. i can relate so much to this. hannah turns 5 in less than 2 mos. i want to cry just thinking that she's a whole 1/2 a decade old lol. but that post was so sweet.

Kyla said...

Gasp. This was so, so sweet, Carrie.

kimi said...

the allison krause version of that song is one of my favorite songs EVER! you'll love it!

LindaJ said...

Sniff Sniff!! Where does the time go? wasn't it just yesterday that my sweet little Katie Bugs was born?
Katie will always hold a special place in my heart. If it had not been for the complete joy she gave us all and her overwhelming cuteness we may not have Lila and Ellie.

Katie opened up our hearts to a whole new world when she came along.

Happy Birthday Bugs!

Love Auntie Linda & Uncle Brandon

Tabba said...

oh, i know..that song, the cartoon...all of it.

Happy Birthday, Tatie ;) & to you too, sweet mommy!!

Oh, The Joys said...

What is it about the baby girl? It is the same with The Rooster. [deep sighs]

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...

Aww, happy birthday!

Stephanie said...

I love that scene in Dumbo.

Sweet, touching post. I cried when I got to the baby pictures!

flutter said...

Oh happy happy sigh

Moobs said...

What a beautiful sentiment so beautifully expressed.

alice c said...

Hmmm...may have to stop visiting your blog due to excess sniffles when I read it. The only thing that I can say is that you will still feel like that when she is 16. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Cathy said...

You've gone and made me all weepy.

I dread the time when they won't want me to rock or cuddle them at bedtime.

What a sweet, beautiful post.

An Ordinary Mom said...

They grow up WAY too fast ... and I always loved this song in Dumbo :) !!

Happy Birthday to your little girl!

painted maypole said...

oh so sweet.

Kristin said...

Beautiful post, Carrie... I wish you and Katie were down this way... I want to hang with you!

BTW - did I tell you my brother is getting married in Seattle next Memorial weekend? Maybe we can meet for at least coffee, but hopefully wine!

Fog City Mommy said...

Baby mine, don't you cry...
Baby mine, dry those eyes...
Rest your head close to my heart
never to part
baby of mine....

Little one when you play
don't you mind what they say
let those eyes sparkle and shine
never a tear
baby of mine

If they knew
sweet little you
they'd end up loving you too
all those same people who scold you
what they'd give just for the right to hold you

From your head to your toes
you're not much
goodness knows
but you're so precious to me
cute as can be
baby of mine.

It's Ricky's lullybye, every night, since he was a dot in my stomach.

Amanda said...

Oh, so achingly true.

I have to believe that somehow, in some way, the universe will suspend this time in a place that on rainy days yet to come and on sundrenched walks in neighborhoods no longer abuzz with play, we'll find ourselves, mothers and daughters, hair swinging, eyes twinkling and the ineffable connection of having shared a body still strong, and we'll touch again.