I wish I could travel to that time and place and show up at her door. I would take baby Caroline in my arms (who by all accounts was a very energetic little one) and put on a pot of tea and we would chat. I would let her take a nap or tell her a funny story. I would take her to a movie or watch the baby so she and Dad could go out. I would tell her that it would be get better and that soon she would make wonderful friends that she would still have 30 years from now. And I would tell that little baby how lucky she is and to be good. To think twice before she heated the marbles in the frying pan next to the brand new (very meltable!) counter top. To refrain from starting the petition against the choirmaster at school or throwing Dad's gold ring down the air vent. That she should never get a perm and that air drying her hair will always produce the best results. And I would tell her to always appreciate how lucky and blessed she is to have such a kind and wonderful mother. I would tell little baby Caroline that she would sometimes feel misunderstood and alone but that she would one day realize she had never really been either and that she and her Mother would become the best of friends. And I would tell that 27-year-old woman to stop and appreciate the small moments and laugh as much as she could because very soon her little baby girl would be all grown up and have a daughter of her own.
Even though I am now a Mom I know that the hardest parts are yet to come. Right now I have to feed Paisley and cuddle her and make sure she is comfortable. I do not have to discipline her or help her to navigate difficult situations. I can only hope that by the time I get there I will feel a lot more equipped and a little more rested.
Oh, and I finally got my copy of Infinite Jest...thanks