My left palm rests on the top of your head. The warmth from me seeping into you, lulling you into sleep. You smile in your sleep. I find myself mirroring you. The apples of your cheek shine with the sheen of the coconut oil I massaged into your skin. It was not too long ago that you looked tiny on the boppy pillow resting close to my bosom. You now occupy the full length of it.
I browse my phone as I wait for you to slip into deep sleep. “three-month milestone” I Google. “Congratulations! your newborn is now an infant.” proclaims the first link I click. My smile deepens. It sure is a milestone. The first of many I will track over the years. You sure are no longer the tiny being I birthed. You are petite for your age but pack a punch as you kick your legs against me. Your movements are surer. Your eyes track the mobile above you as your arms reach out to touch the dangle in front of you. Your cries are different. I now can tell the hunger cry from the sleepy one. The cranky one from the attention craving one.
Your eyes light up when you see me sending a frisson of happiness shooting through me. Every. Single. Time.
You cycle your arms, kick your legs, turn to your side and lift your neck when I put you on your tummy. You crane your neck as I carry you in my arms and walk around the house, your eyes tracking the different sources of light. We sit on the patio and you look upwards towards the deep blue of the sky as if some thing or some one beckons you. We rock back and forth, you and I on the glider as your sisters swing. I feel your breath even out and your body slump as you drift into sleep. The gentle breeze tousles your thick wavy hair as it wafts past you.
I want to hold on to each precious moment. Freeze every smile. Record every coo. But I demur. I lock these images in my brain, secure in the knowledge it is safe in my head.
You have shifted positions now. Your mouth curves into a half-smile. Your nose crinkles a wee bit. I am taken aback by memories of my dad this triggers. There is a little bit of all of us in you. The way your lips pout when you sleep, just like your dad. The thick hair, perhaps a legacy from your grandpa. The stub nose a relic from your uncle. The smile from me.
I slide my arm under your neck and lift you. I hold you close as I walk downstairs. Just I step off the stairs, I feel you wake. I give up and put you down on the mat. You play while I sit and watch. I know time will fly. All that will be left will be the memories. You spit up as turn. I wipe you and realize that there will come a day when I will miss this.
I love you baby girl.