When I look at this photo, I see
-my baby turned girl. Walking with ease upstairs to bed
-her sleeping attire. The nightgown she picked out to wear because she wanted to “sleep in a dress like Sleeping Beauty”
-the six sponge rollers that will curl all of her waify, wispy hair as she sleeps. “I want to have curly hair like Bea”.
-the hair that is still streaked with the golden strands of babyhood. I haven’t been able to bring myself to cut it yet.
-a coy yet confident smile. This one no longer elicited by cues or bribery.
-skinny, little legs that are hardened and bruised from the recent afternoons outdoors. The pudgy limbs I endlessly kissed have disappeared forever.
-a little girl who is enchanted by the newly discovered ideals of beauty (curly hair, dresses, lipstick). She has just begun her trajectory into the mystery of femininity. May she walk away with innocence maintained and heart unscathed.
-a little baby, still clutching the hand of her beloved doll Stella. I will fall to the ground and weep on the day she declares her independence from this childhood vestige.
Sweet, sweet MG. May she have babies upon babies to care for one day. May she cook pea snacks and pizza lunches in her large pink kitchen just like she does in her miniature one. May all of her babies be soothed with the rocking and shushing she has perfected in her young life. May she never run out of the pacis and lullabies and teether toys that her babies always seem to need. May she be given at least one that loves babies the way she does so she may relive this joy all over again.
And may my heart always remember the way my house looked with little makeshift baby beds in every corner; little, balled up baby diapers in every bag; and empty, plastic baby bottles behind every piece of furniture.
And may Stella remain for many more days,