My day-to-day life is very different from my holiday life. My independent life morphs into a crumb-filled, noisy chaos of a multi-generational household. Instead of a wandering soul I am an auntie and spare mommy:
Your hair is warm and fuzzy against my lips and cheek. I can feel your weight bounce around my lap in a moving narrative of your world. You smell sweet and sticky, a perfume of baby shampoo and every course of meal you’ve eaten that day. You snuggle down on me awkwardly bumping my chin and chest with the indifference of a piece of furniture, but when you find that nook that fits, you are like a warm little puppy and I can feel your soft breath as you calm down for a story.
Your long narrow body flops around, throwing elbows that sack me in the head, breast, chin, pubic bone. You’re not so much talking to me but ideas are cranking out your mouth so fast that I know you have a plan that I am supposed to follow.
You smell like toast today because that’s all you eat and you sound like smacking lips because you love to taste the butter when we’re cooking.
I wrap my arms around your chest and belly, one foot on either side of yours and we waddle together through the flower shop with Mommy and Gigi ahead of us. You select your dozen yellow roses with orange tips and you enjoy them so much like pets. You hold them and stroke them and talk to them. You eye them proudly each time we pass them in the foyer. You are a girl in love.
You aren’t so much a snuggler but you love your fuzzy blanket so I think of those when I think of you.
You smell a little like old food today and fall in love with random things – hair ties and floppy hats. You’re a tomboy but always in a loose sundress.
You are an effervescent princess. You sound like gasping breaths and squeaks of ecstatic joy like when Gigi brought home kitty-eared head bands for you. You are wiggly. You are singing to yourself. You are painted toes. You are tiny hands tangled in my hair attempting to give me noogies. You are belly flops on soft, ginormous cushions. You are sparkly eyes and a face that morphs into blinking road signs of your moods. You are two baby fists pressed against my cheeks, wise eyes staring back into mine, kissing me, saying, “Okay, you have to go now.” You are a shivering little body weak from vomiting.
You are a stuffy nose. The sweetest button nose on the planet. You are gazing intensity and utter unawareness of your body in space. You are dark lash-lined eyes and pretty little full lips.
You are the calm of symmetrical patterns on craft projects.
You are angry swatting fists. You are a tiny voice plotting a meticulous creation of a magical world.
You are skinny snuggled on one side of me and soft snuggled on the other side.
You are enthusiastic pre-empters of movies and kids shows.
You are my Christmas blessings in little packages.