Holding Abby (Written August 6th, 2013)

The backyard patio was a gorgeous site for a barbecue.  Several generations sit around a table talking by the grill off to the side.  Children play with animated glee as the older child broods over a video game, but seeming happy to be there nonetheless.  In that instance, I knew that these people would become very familiar and I would get used to these faces.  Nothing in that moment will change.  Future scenes will also be similar except the time and circumstances will change.  The scene was the same but the only thing that changed was tinkered together by perspective—in how that evening was perceived by each participant.  The thing about family is that they’re a lifetime commitment.  What stands out to me in that event was that everything in that moment was moving—conversations, food, lips, feet, kids playing with frolic and ease.  Abigail and her twin sister born a couple months ago attended what most likely was their first barbecue.

Yesterday, I held baby Abigail.  Yesterday, I held baby Abigail and I felt like thirty four years of wonder, of fear, of chaos, of investigation were put to rest.  She held me as I held her—still to the disquiet, to the comings and goings, the constant change that has been haunting me for years.  I sometimes wish I could stay still with every easy routine, every simple care and thought and meal.  It’s like everything I’ve ever done has been interrupted constantly.  And I held baby Abigail and I was still like a domino standing.  All I could think of was how time flies but here I am still and Abigail will be a baby tomorrow and the next day until she too is running and conversing like the children around me.  Babies take time to grow, to be nurtured, and to be fully capable of taking on this world.  All parents can do is one day let go.

She felt like the softest fabric lost in the gentle wind.  My finger spanned her whole hand.  “One day you will be twirling people around those little fingers”, I think now, looking back at the occasion.  She was the size of two footballs and gushed out songs with her crying shouts.  She wanted everyone to know the size of her lungs, so tiny but so vocal.  She had her hair pointed up with a pink hair clip like her sister’s.  Her hair was soft and short.  One day her hair will be flowing and unkempt and teased and crimped and knotted into endless shapes.  Not today: her hair was short, soft and done up in a tiny point at the end of her head.  Her eyes will one day be able to discern all the activity around her but not today.  She’s being cared for.  Her brown eyes gently peer out at the world which awes in amazement.  She makes people melt into pools of wonder.  She will one day be her own, independent person but today the little world fits nicely into that little palm. 

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