Her Sweaty Curls In The Palm Of My Hand
My daughter and one of my sons both have birthdays in March. Here’s a piece I wrote a couple of years ago that’s one of my favorites, about my daughter. Let me know what you think of it:
I love putting my daughter to bed. It’s one of the few times I can disconnect and simply enjoy being right there in the moment.
We usually talk for a little bit, and then she just falls asleep cuddling her little doll.
Last night, I thought she was asleep and when I started pushing myself up, she said, with her eyes closed, “Don’t go daddy. Hold my hand.”
I laid back down with her and I let her curl her little fingers around my thumb, while I gently cupped the rest of my hand around the back of hers.
You know, there are certain distinct facial features that babies, infants, and young children have, that get lost as they get older.
For example, her lips.
The thin line between your lips and the skin immediately around your lips, is very defined when children are young. But this line loses its sharpness as kids evolve — like fine sandpaper somehow slightly smoothes the edges as you go from being a baby to a young child.
And her eyelashes.
You can see each individual long dark eyelash as if it was a slim rod growing up out of her eyelids, slightly thinner than one of the narrowest pencil leads you slide into an automatic pencil, but nowhere near as stiff.
And as she’s falling asleep, I’m lucky enough to rub my course fingers back through her silky fine damp curls, and over her perfectly smooth round head. I can feel each of her hairs over my clumsy rough hands, which don’t seem to be so clumsy at those moments.
As I’m looking down at her face and her tiny little body, I’m wondering — hoping with all the might I can muster up — that somehow I will never ever lose this feeling, or these memories. That I can somehow permanently press this image into my mind like an artist burns the edge of a soldering iron into a wooden block, creating permanent etchings of a design.
It would be great if I could recall images like this one, that are buried away inside my memory banks, “automatically,” the same way your elbow “automatically” twitches when you bang the spot right behind it. This would be the perfect “pick-me-up” whenever I get down or frustrated by something that’s going “wrong.”
Although as I’m in this moment with her, it seems hard to think anything could possibly be “wrong,” you know? That this warmth is so overpowering, nothing could possibly diminish or override it.
She is only the second woman in my life I’ve ever gotten close to — her mom (my wife) being the first. And both of them have a very soothing effect on me.
As I’m sitting here feeling content, filled with the glow of what’s surrounding me, I am reminded again of what’s important. Sitting in front of your computer yields few, if any memorable experiences. And it’s the memories in life you carry around that make you or break you. That fill you up or leave you feeling empty.
I don’t think I’ll have too much trouble recalling something this powerful, whenever I want. At least not for a good long while, anyway.
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
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