Thursday, July 10, 2008

You lead, I'll follow

She's laying beside me on the bed. Not quite asleep, but not quite awake. We're nursing our way through naptime because it's the only way I can get more than 45 minutes of shut-eye. She's in that dreamy, happy, in-between stage. Eyes closed, nursing and waving her free arm in the air. I put my finger near her hand and she grabs it like it's a life preserver, pulling my hand close to her and clutching it to her chest.

Her cheeks are rosy and full, quickly rising and falling as she nurses, her tiny chin pumping away. I watch her eyelids flutter. Her eyelashes are growing longer and darker every day. Her forehead is smooth, skin flawless. I can lean in just slightly and give it a gentle kiss, stealing a sniff of her honey-scented hair.

She releases her grip just slightly on my finger, gently pushing my hand away an inch or two. She quickly pulls it back. Pushes my hand away. Pulls it back. Her movement finds a rhythm. Pushes me away. Pulls me back. Pushes me away. Pulls me back. I watch her and let my hand go back and forth with hers. I wonder, is this the way it's going to be our whole lives together: pushing me away and pulling me back? "Leave me alone!" "Can you fix my hair for me?" "I'm not a child!" "Can I have money to go the movies?" "Don't kiss me in front of my friends." "Do you love me?"

Yes, baby girl. I love you. I'll always love you with every cell in my body and more. I don't always understand you, especially when you're ready to party at 3am and I just want to crawl under the sheets and cry. I'll always love you, though.

You find your rhythm. Show me who you are and who you need me to be for you. I can adjust. I can follow. I'd follow you anywhere.

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