Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas
I placed you back in your crib and watched your heart-shaped bottom rising in the air. Then I turned you over on your back and watched your little tummy rise and fall.
I think all you wanted was a little company. Could you really just have wanted to be rocked and held and talked to?
I'm here, sweetie. I'm right here, and I'm not going anywhere. I'll always be right here.
“What are you doing, Suzie?” Matt whispered. I hadn't heard him come into the nursery. Daddy can be as quiet as a cat.
“Nick couldn't sleep.”
Matt looked into the crib and saw your tiny hand clenched to your mouth like a teething ring.
“God, he's beautiful,” Matt whispered. “I mean it--he is gorgeous.”
I looked down at you. There wasn't an inch of you that didn't make my heart leap.
Matt put his arms around my waist. “Want to dance, Mrs. Harrison?” He hadn't called me that since our wedding day. My heart fluttered like a sparrow in a birdbath.
“I think they're playing our song.”
And to the high, plucky notes that came squeaking out of your music box, Matt and I danced round and round in your nursery that night. Past the stuffed animals, past Mother Goose and your homemade rocking horse, past the stars and the moons that float from your homemade mobile. We danced slowly and lovingly in the low light of your tiny cocoon.
When the music finally wound down to its final note, Matt kissed me and said, “Thank you, Suzanne. Thank you for this night, this dance, and most of all for this little boy. My whole world is right here, in this room. If I never had another thing, I would have everything.”
And then strangely--magically--as if your music box were just taking a rest, it played one more sweet refrain.
Nick,

Melanie Bone came over to baby-sit while I went to work. Full day, full load. Melanie's kids were in Maine with her mother for a week, so she gave Grandma Jean a breather. It feels strange to leave you for this long, and I can't stop thinking about what you're doing now.
And now.
And now.
The last time I felt this tired, I was working my butt off at Mass. General in Boston. Maybe it's because I'm juggling so many things again these days. Having a job and a baby is even harder than I thought. My respect for all mothers has never been higher, and it was high to begin with. Working mothers, mothers who stay at home, single mothers--they are all so amazing.
Something happened at the hospital today that made me think of your delivery.
A forty-one-year-old woman who was on vacation from New York was brought in. She was in her seventh month, and not doing well. Then all hell broke loose in the emergency room. She began to hemorrhage. It was so terrible. The poor woman ended up losing her baby, and I had to try to console her.
You probably wonder why I'm writing about this. Even I thought twice before sharing this sad story with you.
But it has made me realize more than ever how vulnerable we are, how life can be like walking on a high wire. Falling seems a tiny misstep away. Just seeing that poor woman today, and remembering how lucky we were, made me catch my breath.
Oh, Nicky, sometimes I wish I could hide you like a precious heirloom. But what is life if you don't live it? I think I know that as well as anyone.
There's a saying I remember from my grandmother: One today is worth two tomorrows.
Dear Show-off,

You are starting to hold your own bottle. No one can believe it. This little guy feeding himself at two months. Every new experience that you have, I take as a gift to me and Daddy.
Sometimes I can be such a goofball. Reduced to gauzy visions of station wagons, suburbia, and bronzed baby shoes. So I had to do it. I had to have your picture professionally taken.
Every mother has to do it once. Right?
Today is the perfect day. Daddy is off on a trip to New York, where someone has taken a liking to his poems. He's very low-key about it, but it's the greatest news. So the two of us are home alone. I have a plan.
I got you dressed in

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