After dinner, Olive and I cuddled together in her reading nook, a square space of thick and fuzzy hot pink blanket bordered by the pull out sofa and sliding mirrored closet door. It’s protected by a dragon which she uses as a pillow, a polar bear, a lamb, a sock monkey, an owl and her baby, a penguin, and a teddy bear named Oatmeal. They listen to our stories and become characters when she holds them up and points to the book we’re reading. Like when we read Head to Toe, and I read aloud “I am a penguin and I turn my head. Can you do it? I can do it!”, she’ll grab penguin and hold him up as if he were a star. They love it when she does that.
I was reading her a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse book when I attempted to do Donald Duck’s voice. Olive burst out in a peal of laughter and couldn’t stop laughing. So then I began to laugh and pretty soon we were cracking up at everything. Anytime I started to read again, we’d just laugh and laugh, look at each other, then laugh again.
Sometimes I find myself holding her and burying my nose into her hair and feeling so incredibly thankful. I treasure these moments and store them one by one in a heart aching because it’s so full. Watching a newborn grow into an infant and then a toddler wakes me up to how quickly time passes and moves forward. It doesn’t wait, even when I’m not ready, especially when I’m not ready. But it does remain faithful, giving me today, this hour. And when I’m in the moment, I feel eternity welling up like a spring in my heart. These hugs and kisses and nuzzles are stored in the fibers of my being, in the marrow of my bones, and the veins of my heart.