Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Growing Up

While growing up I liked to sit in my dad's lap or snuggle up next to him while watching TV. I remember how much I liked being close to him. Knowing that he would let me be there as long as I liked. I was able to feel his warmth, his chest rise and fall and the scruff growing on his face. I was able to examine the scar on the tip of his chin that he got from a diving board. It's a feeling like no other. Being able to sit close and still in the lap of your parent.

It is this fact that I often recall--purposely--when I am settling Stella down at the end of an emotional bender or getting her ready for bed. I remind myself how peaceful and centering it was to be physically close to my dad's body. Recalling this enables me to sit with her--and Gianna--for longer than my impatience or mental list of things to do would normally allot for sitting.

I can feel her long limbs tangle my waist and her hair tickle my nose. I feel her breathe and it calms me after a usually long and busy day. I can feel the weight of her body press into my chest and eventually all her muscles melt and relax when she surrenders to her fatigue.

I don't do this because she is incapable of falling asleep on her own. I don't do it because she always demands that someone sit with her. I do it frequently for myself. Because I need to feel her close to me while I can. I need to feel the little body that used to be fully encapsulated inside of me. I need to feel her calm and peaceful because so much of the day she is so many other busy things.

And I do it because, I imagine, all those cliches are all true. When your kids are grown or you're laying on your deathbed you're not going to wish you squeezed in one more load of laundry or wiped down one more dirty counter.


Anonymous said...

So beautiful.


Ladybird said...

This is a beautiful reflection of parental relationship and by extension of our relationship to our Heavenly Father. Thank you for sharing it. May God continue to bless you and your family.