Aug 29, 201410:14 AM
Joie d'Eve

Living, loving, laughing, and learning in the new New Orleans

Baby Mine

Her first day of school. My last time watching a kid of mine have her first day of school

Right now, I am feeling kind of like a warrior because I just assembled a day bed – plus trundle! – all by myself while listening to Taylor Swift songs (nope, not embarrassed, not even a little bit). I used a hex key and a Phillips head screwdriver and a moderate amount of bad language and a basic amount of common sense, and I got the damn thing put together.
But yesterday, I was not a warrior. Yesterday, I was a huge sobbing mess. Yesterday, I gave away the last of Georgia’s baby things. 
The crib and the Pack ‘N Play and the car seat and the Moby Wrap and the outgrown clothes all went to good homes, to friends who will very soon put brand-new babies into them. And when I think of all the exhaustion that lies ahead for them, all of the long nights and the early mornings, I am not jealous. 
But then I remember that impossibly muggy summer night in mid-June 2012 when 2-week-old Georgia would not stop screaming and how I snuggled her up in that Moby Wrap, tied her against me, both of us sweating like crazy wrapped up in all that thick fabric, but she calmed down immediately, and I felt so proud of myself for knowing how to soothe her, and I kissed her tiny bald baby head again and again, smoothing it with the flat of my hand and then kissing it again, shushing her, swaying back and forth. Just typing this is making me cry all over again, and I am mopping at my cheeks with scratchy brown industrial paper towels because they’re all I have on hand. They hurt, but it kind of feels like penance for crying over something so silly, to be honest. 
I have no reason to cry. Nothing is wrong with my baby, with either one of my babies. They are blessedly healthy and happy. They are growing up. They’re supposed to grow up. I am happy that they’re growing up. So why am I also so sad?
With Ruby, I always kind of figured I would have another baby, and I did not particularly enjoy her infancy, marred as it was by her agonizing reflux and my crippling anxiety of first-time motherhood, so I embraced each stage as she moved into it. With Georgia, who was a delightful baby, I am excited to watch her advance, but I know that each “first” is also a “last.” It’s her first step, and my last time to watch a baby of mine take her first step. And so on with everything.
I don’t want another baby. God, not even a little bit. But I, day-bed-building warrior, am still driven to tears when I realize I will never have another baby swing in my living room.
Still, some things aren’t going away. Just last night, I lay next to Georgia in bed and sang her the same song I sang to her the first night I held her in the hospital, “Baby Mine,” which is a hard song to sing even if you can sing, which I can’t. But even though I consistently mangle the song, Georgia loves it. And last night, when I was done singing, Georgia reached out and patted my face. “Sing it again, Mama,” she said. She talks now, in full sentences. It’s so awesome. 
And so I sang it again. I even sang it one more time after that. 
She may have outgrown her crib and her baby clothes, but I hope she never outgrows her lullaby. 
 

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Joie d'Eve

Living, loving, laughing, and learning in the new New Orleans

about

Eve is further proof, if any is needed, that New Orleans girls can never escape the city. After living here since the age of 3 and graduating from Ben Franklin High School, Eve moved to Columbia, Mo., where she received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Missouri School of Journalism and became truly, unhealthily obsessed with grammar.

She had originally intended to strike out to New York City and work in the cutthroat magazine industry there, but after Katrina, Eve felt a strong pull to return home, to her roots, her family, her waterlogged and struggling city – and a much more forgiving work atmosphere that would allow her to skip a routine of everyday makeup and size 0 designer label business suits and enjoy the occasional cocktail or three with an absurdly fattening lunch. She moved back home in January 2008 and lives in Mid-City with her two daughters, Ruby and Georgia; her stepson, Elliot; and her husband, Robert Peyton.

Eve blogs about the joys and struggles of living in post-Katrina New Orleans, the unique problems and delights of raising a child in such a diverse and challenging city – including her experiences with the public education system – and her always entertaining and extremely colorful family.

Eve has won numerous writing awards, including the Pirates Alley Faulkner Society Gold Medal, the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence award for column-writing and Press Club of New Orleans awards for her Editor’s Note in New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles and for this blog, most recently winning the award for "Best Feature Affiliated Blog."

She welcomes comments, advice, empty flattery, recipes, drink invitations and – most especially – grammatical or linguistic debates.

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