Ever since I got pregnant with Sophia we have started using the terms “Baby #1, Baby #2” etc – or if we’re feeling extra street we go for “B1 and B2”. It’s a quite nice way of objectifying your children in a systemized way, isn’t it?
So I just put B1 down for a nap. It only took her 1,5 hours to fall asleep because she just won’t stop talking these days. Conversation seems to be her favorite thing, and she’s never put out by the fact that there isn’t really anything to talk about. She’ll just bring up the tree she can see or a random person we saw in church on Sunday. Just mentioning a name or object will do – then she passes the ball to me. But when we’re lying down for a nap she quickly adapts to the one-way conversation and feels no discomfort with keeping it going for long minutes at a time. Yep, she’s not really a B anymore at all.
But eventually we reach the point when her little mouth – and head no doubt – needs a break. Then we lay in silence. And after a few minutes of touching her little fingers to every one of my protruding facial features she rolls over on her back and puts her thumb in her mouth.
And sometimes when I’m really lucky, she stretches out her chubby arm and reaches it under my head. I cuddle up under her gentle embrace just as she has done countless times with me. The hand of the outstretched arm pats my shoulder gently. She knows what to do.
As we lie there waiting for sleep to overtake, my mind wanders to the comforting feeling it is to rest my head against her sweet and soft little body. It is more than just comfort, I feel almost relief as if her little being is sending pulses of energy to mine. As if I can breathe a little better here.
The longer I dwell on it it puzzles me how powerfully this influences me. How can a person so small, and to whom the colors of passing cars and the newfound ability to number things around her are utterly fascinating, be qualified to bring me such reassurance? After all, I am the one who is supposed to soothe her – not the other way around.
It cannot be her experience or knowledge, nor is it her physical strength or size.
No, it must be her spirit. Her pure, innocent and tender little spirit. Reaching beyond physical boundaries to touch my own experienced yet stained and imperfect one. And it is clear which one is the most powerful.
I gaze at her sleeping profile in complete awe at how beautiful she suddenly is and how helpless yet uplifted she has made me feel without uttering a single word. And suddenly I know for certain that parenting is so much more about raising adults than raising children.
She’s not my B anymore at all, but right now I’m hers.