I hear her voice and I come running. "Here I am, daughter! I'm here."
Her smiles lights up the room.
I don't know if she knows what she's says yet, but we're practicing. I'm teaching her that when I hear that sound, I will respond.
I love her little voice. The one that bubbles with giggles when we play Peek-A-Boo. The one that grunts out a laugh when I nuzzle into her neck. The one that says, "Mum!" when she wants to see my face.
She wiggles with delight, grasps my hair in her hands, and makes excited noises seeing her food come towards her. She is noticing things now. She acknowledges them.
I bend over her, staring in those deep eyes as she is nourished. My hair falls across her belly. She discovers it, really discovers it. Her hand brushes through it with wide sweeps, letting it run through her fingers, and coming around again. She reaches up to touch her own head almost as if she's wondering if she has such softness flowing down. My little explorer.
Everything about her is joy. Delight. Pure delight. Looking out the window is discovering a new world. Anything teal or green is catnip, eliciting squeals and "give it to me now!" hands. I borrow her eyes to see the world.
She says "Mum" and I say, "Alia, I love you," and I repeat it a million times because I want her to know it and I can't help myself.
She inspires me.
We snuggle and I think, "Can this last forever??" Already she wants to stand on her own (she can't yet), crawl on her own (not yet either), insisting she face away from the one who holds her as her eyes dart from new thing to new thing.
She's tasting the world now, too. Oranges, rice cereal, avocado, salt, cinnamon, pickle juice. She likes mom's milk best still. A part of me hopes she always will.
But not really. Some good things must come to an end.
I can't get enough of her. I'm the one she calls "Mama."
I love it.
I own it.
She is my delight.
I wonder what she'll be, what she'll do. Will she be like me? Will I like that?
As I walked down the sidewalk with a 6 year old last weekend I nearly said, "Keep up, Alia!" and then smiled to myself thinking of the adventures we will have, the places we will go. I can't wait.
I can wait.
This mama can wait for her baby to grow up, savoring each baby moment, trying to keep her little.
Glamorous, isn't she?
I'm forever awed by her beauty.
I gush about my Little One, my Little Roo, but I do because I'm learning to be a little girl again, too. Learning to hear my Father say, "Here I am, daughter. I am here," when I cry out to him.
I read a quote from Bonnie Gray this afternoon and my breath stills as she confirms what I hear in my heart:
God longs for us to be a child again. It's all He ever wanted -- was to provide a place where we can just be me. And find that little girl emerge again -- with all her stories, her needs and wants.So He can comfort her, take care of her and put her first place in his heart.So He can love her.
(Taken from her blog, Faith Barista)
I find that when I speak words of great joy about the life of my daughter, I hear them echo back from a holy voice speaking about me. Not that I put words in his mouth. No, but I begin to understand his heart.
I remember being a little girl, climbing into my father's lap, seeking comfort, affection, a listening ear. I see Alia rest against her father's chest, calm and content to just sit there and I long for that.
I need my Father to hold my stories, my needs, my wants, to take care of me and put me first place in his heart. I need him to love me.
I also need to give myself permission to be so open.
What I love about my daughter (among a million other things) is that she doesn't need to give herself permission to call on me. She looks at her daddy and expects him to pick her up. Not that she's demanding or that we spoil her, but she innocently and rightly believes that I want to be with her, listen to her, nourish her, love on her, and answer her. Why? Because she's my daughter and I'm her mama. Her "Mum."
I think this is something I'll be learning and unpacking for the rest of my life. A beautiful gift God gives parents (not that you have to be a parent to enjoy it, but that's where I'm at!).
You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father!” Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance.
Galatians 4:6-7 (MSG)
Speak his name and he is here. Call out to him and hear him say, "Daughter, I love you," a million times because he loves me and he can't help it.
She calls me "Mama."
Don't worry. We're working on "Daddy."