When She Was a Baby
I'm lying long on the couch with my feet propped up on Jay's lap, hoping to read a few pages of my latest find. Austyn has found room between us, a space in which to squeeze her petite four year old frame. She is warm & wiggly against me until she finds the perfect spot.
She leans her head back and reaches for Jay, gently tracing her fingers across her Daddy's face. First his eyes, his nose, his lips and then her sweet tiny little fingers begin to massage the stubble on his chin.
"Did I play with your beard when I was a little baby?" She asks.
"Well, when you were a little older, yes." Jay's voice is calm, reverent.
It's so rare to catch a still minute with our little girl these days that it always evokes a sense of awe within us. She's quiet for a beat longer and her Daddy and I make eye contact, acknowledging the sure blessing in this tiny moment of peace.
"Is that because I had another daddy when I was a baby, right?"
"That's right; Daddy Nick." Jay says, calmly.
"Did I play with his beard? Did I love him, too?"
"You did. And, yes you loved him. And, he loved you. Very much." Jay looks at me & smiles and my heart beats out of my chest.
Her eyes light up for a moment as she considers her time as a wee babe. A smile spreads across her face. And, then, just as quickly as the conversation had been about her "Daddy Nick," it changes into something else entirely.
"Can we watch Moanna?!"
She's bouncing off the couch with excitement, fist pumping into the air as she begins to belt out her own rendition of the Disney movie's theme song.
My eyes glisten every time I hear that sweet little girl talk about the man who had fought for his life & suffered tremendously, just to have the chance to spend another 9 months with us, his only 9 months with her.
I still can't believe in the four years since he's been gone, the almost 7 years since he was first diagnosed, how much inside me has changed.
I also cannot believe how much inside me has stayed... exactly the same. ❤️