Sunday, April 23, 2006
For when you are older, and reading these often wild ramblings and pointless anecdotes, hopefully getting a sense of who your Mom is and was...I want you to know what a spectacularly delightful thing you are, and always were. Right now, I only want to tell you about this weekend, which was for a large part a misery for me, for reasons previously mentioned.
You crept downstairs Friday night in the middle of the night. I was awake, minding my pain, sitting up with it, you know (actually, I hope with all my heart that you never do), keeping it company, reading to it, letting it watch "The Godfather," whatever it demanded. You came right up to the edge of the bed and said, "I am too sad to sleep in my bed until the sun comes up. I need to sleep down here with you." Let it be known, in case I grow old and lecture you on the evils of allowing your child to share your bed, that I just smiled and lifted up the covers, and you snuggled right in, all warm smooth skin, sparkling bright eyes, flashing smile, soft kisses, and sweet baby's breath in your whispers.
We whispered a conversation that lasted a good 30 minutes, at least, and wandered hither and yon. You wanted to know if Grandmommy Judith was sleeping at her house. In her bed? Head on her pillow? Did she say her prayers? Did she sleep as soon as she closed her eyes? And Grandmommy Lynette?
Yes, yes, yes. Yes, yes, yes.
Is Daddy sleeping?
If I talk loudly, I will wake him up?
And just then, a big snore from Daddy, and your eyes wide with surprise and silent laughter. What was THAT?
Do I do that?
Oh, no. Little girls are much more delicate.
Thoughtful consideration, then, Do I toot when I sleep?
Ohhhhh. But only very softly.
If you say so.
I wish I could remember that whole conversation, wish I had it recorded so that I could replay it for the rest of my life. It was peppered throughout with declarations of huge love for your entire family, and on that secret night of ours, especially Mommy, who needed them. And hugs. And kisses. And snuggles. And I just lay there holding your perfect little child's body in my arms, tears welling in my eyes, wishing you this same joy someday, this same aching, heart-stretching, beautifully painful, swelling emotion. There is no more perfect love in the world, My Darling Girl, and I want you to know you've given it from the very beginning.
On Saturday, when you overfed your fish--a LOT, and I put them, for safekeeping, in a clean bowl of water, up on a shelf until the tank could be cleaned, and you came in to find them gone, and burst into tears, crying, "Did my fish eat themselfs dead? OHHHHH I'm so SORRY! I don't want them to be died!" it nearly broke my heart. I scooped you up and showed you where they were, and it was all right then, but still you clung around my neck for some time, saying how sorry you were. I hope Carl and Gil live the longest possible goldfish lives. (If they didn't, I tried.)
I spent the day Saturday mostly in bed, curled in a fetal position, and often crying from pain. I tried not to let you see. You orbited around me like a little satellite of happiness, doing anything you could to get a smile or yet another hug. It wasn't hard. At one point, I had occasion, I forget what (but I expected a much more localized answer than I got), to ask you the question, "Bella, what do you want?" You wrapped your arms around my neck, pressed your cheek into mine, and said, "I just want alllll my family to be happy!" I told you that you were making sure of that. And you do.
Today, it's been much the same. I think my favorite moment was when your Daddy did or said something silly that made me laugh, and you immediately said to him, "Thank you, Daddy, for making my Mommy laugh!" All I could do was laugh more, repeat your thanks, and wonder to myself, "What manner of three-year-old IS this?"
You're a God-given gift to me, you are. To your Daddy as well, but as you know, this space is all about me. Hopefully Daddy will post something once a month or so. Maybe. But you are every bit the sunshine in his solar system that you are in mine. To paraphrase something that you first said about me, "You are the best daughter I ever heard of!" I love you.
Oh, and I don't guess I'd be a proper mother if I didn't, as my mother and her mother before her, probably as far back as the beginning of time, did, wish you at least a wee bit of this, as well. Cherish it all, My Dearest. Not one part of it lasts long enough. Not one.