It is 6:57 and Sophie’s voice wafts into my room via the central air ducts:
“I woke up!”
“Sophia is SO funny.”
“Where is mommy?”
“Mommy is sleeping.”
(The sound of her throwing one of her stuffed animals overboard.)
“Puppy fell down.”
“Sophia is here.”
“Mommy is NOT here.”
I climb out of bed. She hears the floorboards creak under my feet.
“Get out. GET OUT!”
I make my way to the bathroom. The play-by-play continues.
“Mommy is going potty.”
I open her door. She is all exuberance and smiles.
“Hi, Mommy. I woke up!”
I wonder, hoisting her out of her crib, burying my face in the warm, fragrant curve of her neck: Will there come a time when I stop marveling at the miracle of all of this…that I made this person…that she is talking, articulating thoughts that are completely separate from my own? Years down the line, when the novelty has worn off and I don’t like what she’s saying…
“But Spike says that condoms ruin the experience for him.”
Or “God, Mom, it’s not like I’m an addict. Didn’t you ever experiment?”
Or the simple, but effective, “I hate you! You’re the reason my life sucks!”
…will I be able to recapture the wonder of this moment then?
She hones her new skill, chatting incessantly about anything and everything around her. And with it comes the blessedly beautiful mistakes.
“All aboard, Kumbaya.”
My own words, recycled:
“DON’T touch it. Just LOOK at it.”
“Talk about farm animals!”
“Mommy sit RIGHT HERE!”
“Read a book-y! Read a book-y!”
“Diaper is FINE! No diaper change!”
“What’s that? What’s that? What’s that? What’s that?”
And sentiments so innocent and sweet, they fill the cavity of my chest:
While eating dinner: “Rabbits eat grass. Prairie dogs eat food, like Sophie.”
Looking out the car window, “I see the moon. Sophie touch it. Grab it.”
Noting our separateness, “Mommy’s foot hurts. Sophie’s foot does NOT hurt.”
When Sophia was just a cooing infant, I remember staring down at her, wondering what she would sound like when she finally spoke: Sophia’s voice is squeaky, full of elation, and without-a-doubt, the most beautiful thing I have ever heard.