Saturday, March 13, 2010

"Nature's first green is gold. Her hardest hue to hold." Robert Frost

If you've ever been somewhere, a hike, a stroll through a park or national forest and stumbled upon a wide eyed doe who flings her head up and seems to take all of you into those big brown orbs or, like I once had a chance to, saw two sandhill cranes performing the intricate and intimate ceremony of their mating dance, you've perhaps experienced the wonderment that I felt last night.  However, it wasn't any denizen of forest or field that provided me this awestruck moment.  It was my daughter.  And after all isn't the ephemeral sweetness of a little girl just as awe inspiring as any of Mother Nature's other impossible to hold gifts.

Pregnant and just winding down enough to sleep after my pre-bed writing binge, I was inclined to crankiness when I heard her little footsteps padding down the hall toward my bedroom.  I listened to her creep around the end of the bed until the sounds of those little footpads stopped a mere two inches or so from my head.

"Mommy," she stage whispered.  "I need you."

I barely contained the sharp reprimand that rose to my lips as I opened my eyes.  Instead with all the bad grace I could summon I asked, "What do you need?"

Then, in the half light from the hallway, I took in the nest of tangles on her head that could only have been sculpted by a restless night and the deep pools of her blue eyes fringed by their impossibly long eyelashes. 

"I need you," she repeated.

Reaching over the bulge of my pregnant belly I hauled her into bed next to me and she cuddled up, her still baby dimpled fingers wrapping around one of my hands.  We curled together in bed and whispered lines from her favorite books, the Fancy Nancy series, to each other.  She pinched my nose and giggled when I rewarded her with a quiet snort.  I kissed the butter soft skin of her still yielding cheeks and I mourned the loss of the baby chub on her daily lengthening arms and legs. 

All the while I kept thinking, I have to save this.  I have to savor this, because everyday when she defiantly tells me, 'I can do it myself' and then, against all expectation, manages indeed to do it herself, she is growing away from me.  Until one day the stretch of her arms and legs and the depth of her intellect will take her from me almost completely.

So I held her there in my arms, despite the late hour and the insistent needs of my body, trying to clutch onto the glimmering miracle of my little girl in that moment in all her tousled hair, soft skinned, blue-eyed beauty.


KarenG said...

Blogger wouldn't let me comment-- I'll try again. Just wanted to say this was lovely, thank you for sharing and reminding us all of what matters most.

angfla said...

Thank you, Karen.

Jen said...

This was a beautiful post!! I look forward to following you! I'm trying to accomplish the same goal as you... to publish my novel.

angfla said...

Jen, thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Best of luck getting published! It's a jungle out there. Have you started the query process or are you still writing your novel?

Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist said...

What a sweet post. And what is so great is that you will remember that moment, especially because you wrote it down. That is why I think a lot of us start writing - back in the day when we wrote secrets or hurt feelings or stolen moments into our journals. We want to remember those feelings, remember those moments. We want to try, as best we can, to recapture and recreate the wonder of small life moments.

angfla said...

Yeah, I think it was Anais Nin that said something like we write to taste life twice. I really like that and writing definitely solidifies the moment in your memory, which is exactly what I wanted to do here even if what I wrote really doesn't even begin to truly capture the experience.