Christmas Eve Eve 2011

Your legs cross as they used to – the right foot nestled close to your left thigh.
A bottle – one of the last, I realize – is disappearing quickly.
We lock eyes and you smile behind the nipple, milk rolling down your cheek and onto my arm.
I don’t wipe it away.

Tousled hair and dirty hands.
You smell of playing – playing hard.
Arms stretching, they wrap around my neck.
Eyes squeezed tightly shut, I can see the love.
I close mine, too.

Dress-up and jewels removed, you are even more beautiful.
You believe that now, but you won’t always.
“Scratch right here,” you whisper and place my hand on your back.
With your head lying gently on my chest, you say your prayers.
I love to hear you pray.

“I love you more than a measuring tape can measure.
No. ┬áMore than all of the universe. ┬áMore than all the mulitverses.”
Your torso is nearly as long as mine.
For a moment, you let me hold you.
And then, just when I think you are going to push me away,
You put your hand on my back and rub it gently.
“I love you, Mommy.”
I love you, too.

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