Here you are. What a love. A cuddlebug. You and I, we spent the day together. Just the two of us. We hadn’t planned it that way. This morning when you were playing with your daddy and sister, you scuttled over to daddy’s cup of tea and upended it over your foot. What ensued was not pretty. It involved being dunked in last night’s bathwater with your jammies still on, nursing between screams, sitting naked with your foot in a mixing bowl of water, rocking through your sobs and breaking your blister, falling asleep at the opportune moment where your mommy had to cut off the skin of the blister and bandage your foot, and then taking a three hour nap on mommy’s lap.
Oh dear. To see you pain is another kind of pain itself. You were writhing, little one, and I was nearly crying with you.
But, as your sister would say, you are “tough as nails.” When you woke up from your nap, you were cuddly and wanting to be held, but calm and sweet. The open blister larger than a quarter on the top of your foot couldn’t keep you from smiling.
So we went for a walk in the gulch. We rode the train, we walked through campus. I sang to you, and you sang with me. Your sweet little voice made the flowers bloom as we walked by. You made the apple blossoms smell sweeter.
You’re growing up so fast. You lift up your arms when I declare “so big!” And you giggle when I play peek-a-boo. Your sister makes you laugh, and you make us laugh too, scuttling over the floor. You’re not crawling, but you may as well be. While not quite as fast, you can get everywhere you want to go, leaning forward and sliding your dust-covered bottom behind you.
You love to eat. Asparagus, peas, spinach, cheese, eggs, pear, apple… You want a little bit of everything. I spread little raisin-sized bits over the tray of your high chair and you pick them up and feed them to yourself. I love watching your focus as you set your sights on a piece, reach for it, and then pick it up between your pudgy index finger and thumb. You use such care and quiet with small things.
While we were out and about, daddy and sister went on a date. They fed chickens, ate fro yo, and shopped for our groceries. Before she left, she counseled me: “mommy, nurse my baby, she’s sad.”
We talked on the phone when they were out, and she asked, “Lu ok?”
And then, when we were back, she kissed Lu. “You happy, Lu?”
I love watching your relationship with your sister unfold. Every morning, both of you are eager to smile at one another. Lily says “good morning,” and you squeal with delight.
Watching the two of you makes me think of Khalil Gibran’s poem On Children, specifically:
You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
I know I can’t determine the type of relationship the two of you will have. I can’t be certain that you will be close or that you’ll seek each other out for advice or comfort. But I hope.
The poem reminds me of an artist and their canvas or bronze. They have intent, they exact form and color, they hope. And then, the art works independently of the artist, inspiring things or provoking thoughts the artists could not have predicted.
Thank you for spending the day with me. You even spirit is better than meditation.
I love you,