Sweet and expressive. Tender and sensitive. Friendly to a fault, eager to please and anxious to be liked.
Definitive sounds of a baby stirring and then, “Mommy? Hold you?” drift into my room… followed by a small sweetly groggy voice, “Joshie can I hold you?” She stretches, the image reminding me of a kitten uncurling from a nap, and climbs down from her warm nest on the top bunk. Her silky golden hair falling gently around her shoulders as she pushes it out of her face. Her small delicate hand gently strokes the baby’s hair as she absently yawns. She leans in and kisses the top of his head, he leans into her, sucking on his pacifier, his chubby hand pats her tummy.
Nurturing. Gentle. Graceful. Delicate. She remains by my side, stroking her baby brother’s cheek, as I change his diaper. “One day I will do this for my own babies, ” she says, sleep still thick in her voice. She smiles as her baby brother looks up at her, and the two of us share a knowing look between us before her attention is wrapped around her baby brother again.
Perfume. Giggles. Shoes. Dresses. Horses. Emotional, empathetic, irrational and undeniable. Eager to grow up, become a woman, become a mama, to be valued, cherished. Quiet intense energy, fluctuating and circling feelings, ready to talk, driven to share. Learning her own capacity, always seeking certainty and security. Aspiring to be me.
I see in her my own reflection, hear my voice in hers, my tones, my emotions, my inflections. I see my heart in her eyes, desire, responsibility, beauty. In my daughter, my legacy, the gentle tapestries of all the qualities and character the women before her handed down.
In her all I pour will return to me, as it is with mothers and daughters… already she takes up slack where I yield it to her, already she fills in gaps where I leave her room. And I cherish these years, while we work side by side, pushing and pulling the lines of womanhood, bonding in that understanding that women carry for one another. She is my daughter and she is my friend.