Letters to Eleanor: 5 1/2 Weeks

Rather than spend the time to summarize everything that happened between the last post and today (I continued to be pregnant! I worked! I lifted weights until the day before I popped out a little girl baby! I had kind of a rough go after the baby came out!), I’d rather share a letter I wrote to our little lady, miss Eleanor.

I had gotten the idea somewhere online to create an email account for your baby, and send them emails periodically throughout their childhood sharing thoughts, memories, and moments. When they’re old enough to appreciate it, you give them the login and they have first hand recollections of their childhood.

I’ve shared the address with just my husband and our very immediate family. It seems easier to record a quick thought or quote when you can put it down on your phone or laptop, and from multiple parties, rather than rely on the conventional bedside journal or notebook.

So here’s one of the letters I’ve written her thus far, sent a week ago.


“Today you are 5 1/2 weeks old, and as I write this on a rainy and cool June afternoon, you are sleeping in your crib, bundled up in a swaddling blanket, finally calm after hours of active squirminess.

The other day I picked you up out of your crib and you did something marvelous. Your whole body went stick straight, upright and rigid in my arms, and you held your head up high, like a proud exclamation point declaring, “Eleanor!” I brought you into the kitchen to show your dad and we were both amazed at how confidently you held up your head. Up until that moment you would bob and weave your head around, building up those neck muscles to hold up that adorable noggin of yours.
But this.
Wholly unexpected.
Why at that point I don’t think I’d be any more surprised if you then turned to me and said, “Hello mama.” In that small moment you seemed like you could accomplish anything in the world, and we’d just watch, dumbfounded, proud, and incredulous all at once. It was probably your first big accomplishment, the first of many, many to come. I can’t believe it’s already happening.
Everyone tells me, “You’ll miss this,” and “It goes by so fast, cherish every moment.” That advice is always hard to understand in the moment, I think, and easy to reminisce upon later in life. I remember when I lived in Italy during college and I tried to repeatedly remind myself to remember this moment, remember how this feels. The cobblestone streets under wobbly heels, the taste of a lemon pastry, the sparklers and champagne in a night club. You do, to an extent, but the act of attempting to force it into a memory ends up ringing false somehow, and you later remember the act of trying to make it a moment, rather than the moment itself.
Anyway, I digress. Many other moms tell me they miss how snuggly babies are at this age, so I’m trying to get all the snuggles I can, especially since next week is my last of maternity leave. Currently my favorite routine is to get up with you and get a little station set up on the couch for the morning. It includes a cup of hot coffee (brewed by dad), a glass of water, an easy breakfast like cereal or hard boiled eggs or an energy bar, and setting that all up with my cell phone and remotes on the coffee table. Then we get snuggly under a fuzzy blanket on the couch and watch a movie. You usually curl up like a comma in my arms, your head buried in my chest, peacefully sleeping. I smell and kiss your head a hundred times, an act I’ll repeat throughout the day because I’m pretty sure it’s better than any drug possible.
We currently love calling you Buggles, so I’ll sign off by saying how much I love you, Buggles. Every day, no matter how tiring or frustrating or confusing, is greater with you in it.

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One Response to “Letters to Eleanor: 5 1/2 Weeks”

  1. catherinemryan Says:

    So lovely, and so true. Buggles will love looking back on these recollections – what a gift! Also, best of luck returning to work. Hugs.

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