I am grateful for you, my littlest love– for your arresting smile with its row of baby teeth– those newly budded pearls, the sweet orange blossom soap smell in your wispy curls, the nape of your neck, your tiny earlobes, your infectious laughter like a rolling wave, again and again, your soft hand that grazes my chest while you nurse, that finds my hand and interlocks fingers, as if to say, “stay close,” your sweet “muah” kisses on my cheek with your puckered baby lips. your hi’s and bye’s and corresponding gestures, your mini voice speaking two-syllable words with stress at the end for “mom-MY,” “dad-DY,” an unlimited vocabulary– with more sounds acquired every day.
I am grateful for you, my littlest love– for your persistent personality, for your toddler attitude, for your sweet and sour, for the reckless way you play, with wild abandon, with a heart so full, with a love so big, for your obsession with the same nursery rhyme again and again, the wheels going round and round and round and round, for your silliness, for soaking up song and dance, for glances in the rearview mirror, for a car littered with crackers and a seat–sticky and stained, for the endless repetition, for the cycle– nap, bath, bed, repeat.
Morgan Dancy is a full-time working mom who teaches English at a local university. Her husband, 2.5 year old son, and she loves nature walks, playing outside, exploring, and riding bikes. They have a dog, kitten, and three backyard chickens.