Sunday, February 7, 2010
Letter from Mama, v26
Sometimes, you can stare at the same thing until the center of it, where your eyes are focused, starts to look soft at the edges, and blurry all around. You can stare at the same thing over and over, and revel in its blurriness for what it's worth.
This afternoon, I finished a particularly troublesome memoir ... and ending to the story so sad, so heavy. I knew where you were, in your bed, and could hear your melody before I opened the door to your room. You're a girl who has given up on the weekend nap. I quietly opened your door, shut it behind me, and picked you up. I sat in the rocker, you on my lap facing me. I felt sick, and saddened by the words I had just read about a parent's betrayal, and the path of redemption the story took on. I rocked you and rocked you; you folded into my embrace. You pressed your tiny nose against mine, and we sat locked in an Eskimo kiss, completely silent, as your features began to blur at the edges, until your center became soft. You breathed in as I breathed out. I focused on your face until I felt my reserve strengthen, until I had calmed down to where you and I sat.
You're my greatest gift darling girl, I am so lucky I know that, and say it out loud. I'll always do right by you, and I'll make my life's ambition to raise you in the sunshine, far away from the shadows. Being your Mama is an honor.
Yesterday your Grandma S. saw you after a bunch of weeks. She said your baby features continue to diminish, your face looks more like that of a girl's. Your legs, when you are carried, dangle lower and lower. You're longer, leaner, sleek. Your one hand grasps your glass of milk as you take long sips from the unobstructed top. When it spills down the side of the counter you are genuinely surprised. Oh my gosh! you exclaim, and offer to help with the mess. I assure you, no, no. It's okay. It was an accident, and honestly, there is no reason to cry over spilled milk.
There's a children's author by the name of Margaret Wise Brown who's a household favorite. You'll recognize her for the classic Goodnight, Moon and The Runaway Bunny. But here, where we live, she's most loved for Mister Dog, the Dog Who Belonged to Himself, and I'll tell you why.
The book was written in 1952. It's as pure as children's literature gets. Toward the end of the story about the dog, named Crispin's Crispian, who belonged to himself , there is a page that goes:
Crispin Crispian was a conservative.
He liked everything at the right time-
dinner at dinner time,
lunch at lunchtime,
breakfast in time for breakfast,
and sunrise at sunrise,
and sunset at sunset.
And at bedtime-
At bedtime he liked everything in its own place-
the cup in the saucer,
the chair under the table,
the stars in the heavens,
the moon in the sky,
and himself in his own little bed.
And that page alone fully represents who you are at this time, lil' dude.
You are a girl for everything, and everything for a girl.
And Mama loves.