All of you –
Your chunky thighs that kick when you’re surprised
Your three-almost-four-toothed smile that flows into your eyes
That squint in a way that makes me think maybe
maybe a person could really burst from joy
or a really good secret.
You and your arms that flap when you’re excited
And it’s as if you’re going to fly away;
right out of my arms and become
One of the dancing snowflakes out the window.
You and your soft forehead that touches mine
When you need the kind of assurance that can only come
From a nice meaningful forehead touch.
Your tiny mouth that says mama and so many non-words
Only you don’t just say them but yell them
and whisper them and try them out in every part of your mouth so that you savor the sensation of speech.
And that mouth opens wide now for airplanes and choo-choo trains that carry rainbows for cargo –
a spectrum of flavors and textures that elicit an “mmm” and a grin every single time.
You who are unafraid of failure
Unafraid to laugh until your whole body aches
You who forgive in an instant
And love unconditionally
For whom I would do any crazy chicken dance that I’ve never done for anyone else
At any time of the day
just to see your toothy smile for another instant.
You who breaks my heart with a cry or a cough
And mends it again with a laugh.
You came from me. And sometimes I do a double take just remembering
There was ever a time when you weren’t.
But I feel like a bigger person in the world knowing that because I am
And because you are