Rachel still loves to cuddle, which I love, too, even though she’s a great big two-year-old instead of my tiny, precious baby girl.
Right now she has to curl herself around my tummy while I rock her and it’s a little bit awkward, but I love it. While I was singing to her the other night, with her half-squishing, half-supporting her baby sister, I looked down into her eyes and she looked up at me. I recognized that face immediately—I had seen it several times before when she was younger—she was staring at me so intently, her darling blue eyes focused on my own.
The familiarity of the situation sent me flying through the past two years, back to a time when Rachel was the new little baby coming to our house. The same blue eyes constantly searching for something familiar and finding it in my eyes. The same little ears straining to hear my voice. The same little nose…the same little mouth…the same little baby-girl Rachel.
We stared at each other for a few minutes, savoring the angelic moment and then I couldn’t help myself—I broke our trance and stroked her face.
To my surprise she reached up and stroked my face, too.
“I loves you, Momma,” she whispered sweetly.
I said, “I love you, too, baby girl.”
And I couldn’t help but think, “Oh! Is that what that look means?”
I guess I should have known. I should have known when I was rocking her as a sleepless, screaming baby; I should have known when I was nursing her fifty-thousand times a day; I should have known when I was feeling housebound and frumpy; I should have known when I was peeling off a poo-covered onesie or a spit-up-drenched shirt.
I should have known that she was saying “I love you.”
But now I know. I know what that look means. It was the same look my tiny baby girl gave me when we cuddled then; it’s the same look she gives me when we cuddle now.
It totally makes up for when she colours herself orange, for when she throws temper-tantrums about cleaning up her toys, for when she smears her dinner all over her face instead of eating it, for when she refuses to go to sleep, for when she wets the bed or pees on the floor, for any time she’s driving me nuts.
I love her and she loves me.
And we’ve been telling each other that since day one, only I didn’t always know that’s what she was saying. I guess I was a little slow on the uptake; hopefully I figure out Miriam’s I-love-you face a little quicker!
I’m looking forward to having another tiny, precious baby girl, but my big-girl Rachel is a wonderful thing to have around, too. She makes my life happier. (And among the million reasons why I love her, the two-way communication is great!)
I’ll love you forever;
I’ll like you for always.
As long as I’m living
My baby you’ll be.