Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Savoring the Baby

"Sometimes I would almost rather have people take away years of my life than take away a moment." -Pearl Bailey

"Cuh you hoe me minute, Mommy?" says my youngest climbing up on my lap.

I stop what I'm doing to pick up my chubby toddler. "She's growing so much," I lament to myself. Sometimes, when I hear her talk and mimic her brother and sister, or when I see her little face peeking out from big-girl pigtails, I wonder where my little baby has gone. And I mourn a little. Well, maybe a lot. Because she's probably the last baby in our family.

We play patty-cake. The soft, tender skin of her hands slap mine, my hands which are starting to look more and more like I remember my mother's hands looking growing up. Mine are becoming more wrinkled and colored with age, and hers are so fresh, so soft, so...new. Even yet, over two years after coming out of her warm abode inside of me, her little hands feel so new.

And I revel in the moment, as we share some uninterrupted games of patty-cake, while her siblings are otherwise occupied. These moments are rarer with her being the third child. Of course her brother, the oldest, got lots of patty cake and fingerplays and board books. She, being the youngest of three preschoolers, does not get that luxury --the luxury of uninterrupted time with Mommy all by herself.

Each time we finish the pattycake game, she giggles and asks for more. I'm enjoying these moments so much that I happily oblige. After all, I reason, soon she'll be thinking she's too big for pattycake and not wanting to climb up in my lap as often. Those days are coming soon, so I want to hang on to these days of being needed and adored as long as I can. I want to savor these moments, just like the coca-cola addict in me savors that burning sensation when the drink hits the back of my throat. These moments just feel so good.

Teach me to number my days, Lord. Teach me to number my days.

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