My youngest daughter has come to cuddle with us in bed this morning. I lie there with her in my arms and breathe her in. She is, after all, my baby. She is the one that keeps me connected to that baby softness. She still needs my lap, and running into my arms momentarily after a fall (emotional or physical) still fills her up with all her soul needs. As I lie there, I pet her still round face, her still chubby hands, her soft remnants of a baby’s body.
She still hasn’t mastered her fine motor skills thus things are still constantly dropping from her plate and from her arms. She still hasn’t outgrown all of her baby-ness, so she still has this great rolling laugh, with distinct baby-laugh qualities of extra volume and extra drool. She still hasn’t outgrown all of her baby-ness, so she still had this sing-song high pitched voice with the occasional slur and sweetly simplified pronunciation of harder words. She still hasn’t outgrown all of her baby-ness, so I’m holding on to it.
She is the last contact I have to someone totally needing me, needing my arms, my lap. But more truthfully, I still need her. She makes me feel like a good mom. She usually doesn’t need anything particularly demanding from me; she’s still so easily overjoyed by small tokens of love; she usually doesn’t challenge my authority. She still does things with no ulterior motive; she still does things just because it will make someone else happy; she still does things with total naïve belief and blind faith in her siblings, even if they just minutes before double-crossed her. She still picks me flowers and draws me pictures.
She’s still my baby, and something powerfully maternal wants to hold on to her, to protect her, to keep her small for just a little bit longer. To pause Father Time just a bit so that I can still have a baby in my life. I lie next to her and carefully scan her perfect facial features with my eyes and my finger. And she closes her eyes, and lets me.
“Solai,” I ask her, “what are you thinking about?”
She silently, slowly brings her gaze to rest on my face. She is breath-taking in the soft morning light.
“What are you thinking about?”
She knows her answer and whispers it back to me, “Nothing”.
Ah! Another reason I still need my baby in my life. To connect me to the higher wisdom I so want to be vibrant and alive in my life.
“Nothing”. How wonderful. Maybe through osmosis I can learn it from her. To just lie in bed and think of nothing. Nothing to go do, to accomplish, to push towards to reduce the stressful ‘must dos’ fortresses in my mind. “Nothing”. Teach me, oh young wise one; teach me, my baby; teach me to think of nothing, to be in nothing, and then, then, I won’t so desperately need to try to keep you a baby.
Then, I can be, just as my reality has become at any given moment, without grasping onto a child, no longer a baby, and on the brink of an independent young lady, blossoming in her own due and perfect time. “Nothing”. I lie there holding my fingertips to her round cheek, and try hard to think of ‘nothing’.
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