Friday, March 29, 2013

Brand new day

Something tickles her cheek. A breeze, blowing in from the ocean while on a trip to the beach. No; a friendly spider, landing softly after its parachute drop from the ceiling. No; mom's finger, lightly stroking her skin. She reaches her hand up and grabs a fuzzy creature. She smiles. She opens her eyes and holds her best friend in front of her face. She bounces him up and down.
"Hop, hop, hop."
She hugs the worn plaything to her chest, burrowing beneath her blankets. She kisses his nose. She holds his face close so that he can kiss hers.

She yawns. She stretches. Her feet kick out from the covers. Her back arches and forms a bridge that spans the warm spot of bed that she's nested in all night long. A sound starts at her toes, travels up her body, and squeezes out like a small animal from her lips.

Her bridge collapses with a sigh. She breathes deep and watches as her bunny rises and falls on top of her chest. Up, down. Up, down.

She rolls out of bed and wanders to the door. A threshold of promise; the gateway to her future. It's shut tight, and she has to twist hard one way and then the other. She will not be denied. Finally, it dislodges, and she pushes the creaking thing open all the way. Just a few feet away is mom and dad's door.

When my daughter wakes up in the morning, she's Christopher Columbus. She's Amelia Earhart. She's Neil Armstrong. "Today" is about filling every moment with discovery; it's about looking for the hidden wonders amidst her everyday surroundings. There's a wide-eyed expectation in her. She knows enough of the world to have a sense of "the way things work," but the rules and boundaries that feel limiting to me are still only suggestions to her. She wavers between a matter-of-fact confidence in the rituals of her life, and a resilient acceptance of mystery and change. Her routines are the platform from which she launches into the unknown.

At three years old, she's lived over a thousand days, and yet each morning is still exciting, fresh, and new. She has yet to utter those sad words: "I'm bored." I hope we can always find a reason to delay them.

I love her exuberance, having the whole day ahead of her. It's nice that she wakes up whenever she feels like it, that when she rolls out of bed she's fully ready to meet the day. I hope she enjoys it while she can, because it won't last forever; nor would I wish that for her. Because someday I hope she can see in her own little girl what I see in her. The knocks on our door can be jarring, mornings do not catch me at my most heroic, and I always crave just thirty more minutes. But there's a reward. She is the magic in my world now, and it's a magic that I don't expect could ever fade away.