“Never as Young” by India Morgan Little

Read By: India Morgan Little

When I was pregnant, we went to Italy. Me, Bryn, and the baby who had been living rent free in my body for seven months.

In Italy, I felt like Beyonce – “Love On Top,” mic drop, belly reveal, Beyonce. Firstly, because I posted an announcement Instagram that I had been overthinking for days. Secondly, because Italians love pregnant people. In Italy, pregnant people are openly revered. Not like in America where strangers touch your body without asking. But like: ushered to the front of every line, free entry to the Vatican,extra scoop of gelato served with a smile. 

That trip to Italy was filled with moments that I knew would be moments. Do you know what I mean? The moments you feel nostalgic for, even as they’re happening? Is there a word in a different language for this feeling? In Tuscany, Bryn and I stayed on a farm and watched the sun set behind a hill as a small donkey nuzzled my stomach. (Even Italian donkeys love pregnant people!) I longed for the baby, of course, but I knew that, later, in my memories, this could feel like one of the last real moments of just me and Bryn. I celebrated it.

Back from Italy, I entered the final countdown and the quiet appreciation of ou final days as just the two of us flipped into a desperate need for the baby to arrive. It was a yearning like I’ve never known before. I wanted something that I didn’t have any understanding of. Who even was this baby? What would it be like? Look like?Smell like? How would it sound? What would it be like when it wasn’t a baby anymore? What would it be like as a person? What would I be like as a mother?

Years before, my own mother had given a toast at our wedding. She told the story of the doctor placing me into her arms, looking into my infant eyes and “truly falling deeply in love” for the first time. I thought of this story constantly in those last weeks of pregnancy – I longed to feel that with my own baby.

And then she came! (Not suddenly, there was an excruciatingly long labor.) And all of a sudden the longing switched again, to a new kind that is a constant ache.

It wasn’t immediate like it was for my own mother. It took me a few weeks. But then one day, I was laying in bed with my daughter, humming, the fan oscillating in the summer heat, and she looked at me and I just fell. It felt like my whole heart was sucked up my throat and into her eyes and then just…stayed there.

So here the longing remains. The persistent longing for this exact moment. Because she’ll never be as young as she is right now. Neither will I. 

MSY 2020