A couple of minutes after I walked into the NICU and discovered my daughter wearing clothes (clothes!) for the first time, I sent out an email update to our friends and family list and attached a few pics of her in her super-cute pajamas (which, though p-sized, were still way too big).
A few hours after that, my grandmother called me, trying to hide the alarm in her voice. (My grandparents had dial-up internet; it had taken her all that time to download the pictures).
“Hi, Grandma!” I was excited to hear from her. She rarely called any of us grandkids, explaining to me once that we were probably too busy with our own lives to answer, so if we had time to talk, we’d call her.
“Misty, what is that thing she is wearing? Is that something new?”
“Clothes, Grandma! She’s wearing clothes. Can you believe it? She’s wearing big-girl clothes already! The nurses said she’s close to regulating her own body temperature now, which means…”
“That’s not what I’m talking about. What is that thing on her face?” There was a hitch in her voice, which betrayed her concern, which made me concerned, because it always scared me to death when my grandmother was worried. “Is that some sort of new breathing device?”
I had to pull up the pic on my iPad to see what she was talking about. “The feeding tube? She’s had that for a while–”
“No, that big thing, that green thing, it’s as big as her face!”
The pacifier? I tried to suppress a smile, but I think my grandmother heard it anyway.
“Well! Don’t you dare tell me that’s a pacifier! It’s enormous!”
“Yeah, it’s what they give to newborns–she’s outgrown her first one already.”
“Well! She’s ain’t no bigger than a minute, then!”
Maybe so, I told my grandmother, but right about then, my 3 lb 8 oz daughter was as big as my whole world.
My grandmother has since passed away, but not before she made a special trip down to Dallas to meet her great-granddaughter for the first time. When she held my daughter in her arms, it was just the two of them, and my it’s like holding air!, and my she’s no bigger than a minute!, and my she is delicious! is it her is it really her?, and yes. And that world they shared, in that moment, was timeless.