I groan as I get out of bed, temporarily forgetting the prize that summons me from my slumber. As soon as I enter her room, I am reminded and smile at her. Her smile is so big and so automatic, her eyes crinkle and she is unable to hold the pacifier I am trying to place in her mouth. I pick her up, glad to have the time to snuggle with her, while everyone else she knows, sleeps. The inconvenience of being pulled from my bed…forgotten.
As much as I grumble and complain about the demands of breastfeeding, I can’t quit. She loves it so much…to nestle against me with one hand propped up on my chest and her other arm wrapped around my side. She closes her eyes so tightly she looks as though she is faking sleep…playing possum.
Her face is my past and my future. I see my own baby pictures as I look at her button nose and Moon-Pie face, as round as if God drew it with a compass. I see my Grandmother in the arch of her eyebrows, The McNeil Eyebrow- my Grandmother called it. I see my older daughters and know that God didn’t “break the mold” but found one so perfect, He decided to use it three times. I see my sister and my best friend in Sadie’s sleeping profile. Her imitation so perfect I want to whisper a childhood secret in her tiny ear. My mother’s lips on her tiny face make me pray she will speak with the wisdom and kindness of her Grandmother, and use her mouth to worship God with all the fervency and passion my mother continues to show. Sadie stops nursing, milk dribbling down a chin kissed with her Daddy’s dimple and hinting of her Pop Pete.
I sigh to inhale her sweet baby’s breath. I prop her on my shoulder to examine her more closely and to nuzzle the warmth of her cheeks. Sadie Plum. I pray that she will have the tenacity of her namesake, never giving up against all odds and being a loyal Christian, sister, friend, wife and mother. Her hand swipes at my face; before I tuck it into her blanket I see her hands and fingernails are scale reproductions of her Daddy’s. I wonder if she will use them to create, to build, to heal the way he does.
I groan as I rise from my chair to place her back in her crib, her head on my shoulder…her hand on my heart.