Tuesday, February 12, 2013

a toddler's love

the morning that I came to visit- view from the plane

Memories that are making me smile on this gray morning at the start of a long day…
Cast of characters(my cousin's kids- PS these are not their real names...):
Pie (3 yr old girl)
Bee (19 month old girl)
DB (10 wk old boy)

Morning rituals:
As soon as my hand turns the doorknob, I hear her. Little feet come running down the carpeted hallway accompanied by muted giggles.
The blurry, impish face of Bee appears at my knees. “Well, hi,” I say, squinting and smiling.
She looks up at me with a grin- or at least I think it’s a grin. I look the same to her, but she doesn’t know I can’t see her very well yet. Her sister Pie comes running, pushing light brown curls out of her earnest face. “Yvonne! We’re gonna have breakfast now! But make sure you don’t burn your hand again!”
“Yes, ma’am,” I joke. “I’ll be careful.”
As I am washing my face and putting my contacts in at the bathroom sink, I hear giggles coming from the other side of the door. Tiny fingers are wiggling under the door. Gently I tickle the top of them with my sock-covered feet, hearing peals of delighted laughter from the other side while I dry my face. This is the exact same game my dad I played when I was a toddler, I think, looking in the mirror. When did I stop being little?
I open the door again, now clearly beholding their bright and cheery faces.
The day has begun.

Monkey see, monkey do:
Sitting on the piano bench, reading a text from Mom, murmuring my reply under my breath as I type. My cousin Becky is organizing her homemade soap and Pie is running around playing with something- probably her little seesaw. I am so engrossed in the text that I don’t notice Bee climbing up next to me, clutching a handheld phone. She peers over my shoulder, thoughtfully “reading”. Then she mutters to herself as she uses her thumbs to touch the buttons on her phone.
“There,” I say, sending the text.
Bee looks triumphantly up at me and I watch out of the corner of my eye to see what she’ll do next. I casually stick my phone into the pocket of my hoodie. Bewildered, Bee looks for the same pocket in her shirt and doesn’t find it. She pinches her shirt everywhere, hoping to find the same pocket. Finally accepting defeat, she puts the phone on the bench next to me and runs off to join her sister.

[There’s such a thing as love at first sight.]
I’ve never been one to turn down cuddling with anyone’s infant, but especially precious to me are the times I get to hold my cousins’ babies. My cousin closest in age to me had a baby boy in October, DB. I used to say I didn’t believe in love in first sight, but that quickly changed once my cousins started having babies. The first time I saw and held DB, I was totally smitten. The fuzzy hair, milky eyes taking everything in, impossibly chubby cheeks, the cute grunts and noises as he processes every new sight and sound, the features of both his mommy and daddy- yet a precious individual…
Okay, enough sentimentality. I should just let a picture do the talking.

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