The other night I stepped into the living room to deliver the announcement: Timetobrushyourteethwashyourfaceitsbedtime! My husband and daughter were watching an ancient baby video, one of the ones we haven’t watched in, oh, nine years or so, a dozen obsolete formats ago.
We were starstruck.
She was not yet two. We watched her waddle in circles around the lemon tree, and then repeat a circuit around the yard, climbing the steps over and over, little feet sailing, arms flailing, head tucked and hell-bent on a mission called growing up.
She stood in sunken, soggy diapers twirling her goldilocks curls and rubbing her bedtime eyes.
She danced in a loopy bounce to grandpa’s ragtime piano, bathed in a spotlight of self-immersion and propulsion.
She emptied her first Halloween bag piece by piece, cooing a drooling baby talk of approval, chirping a drunken birdsong of eees and opps and umms that we understood perfectly.
I said to my 10-year-old, “Now do you see why we love you so much?”
Everything seen and unseen. Heard and unheard. Known and unknown. The confusion, the fear, the fatigue, the worry, the doubt. The rage, the gulf, the hurt, the tears, lonely sleepless anxious terribleness, all of it, the ugly underside of it, and the unwrapped rosy red yummy of baby’s first bobbypop. It’s all love.
My sweet lord. Every bit love.