a moment

Bear came home tonight and we 5 (Bear, me, Rio, Jack and HObbes) all laid down on the floor in the family room. Rio was taking things out and putting things in a cookie jar toy, having great fun. I fell asleep for a minute and Bear offered to give her a bath. I went upstairs to prep for her arrival: jammies, warm bottle, book, bed turned down, Pooh in place. They came upstairs and we dressed her. Bear played 'where's daddy?' with the towel over his head. She was cracking up as I dressed her for sleep.

It was when she was having her bottle, that moment I'm talking about. She was laying back in my arms, leaning into me, as I held her bottle for her. My pinkys stick out, some sort of genetic quirk. She has it, too. My pinky was out and she started playing with it. Used her index finger to trace around the tip a few times. Slid all of her fingers over it and squeezed. Then just rubbed her hand over mine and settled it there, so softly. We looked into each other's eyes as she finished the bottle. Her look said, 'No book tonight, k?' and I put her to bed.

It is those moments; the soft caresses we share, the gazes that seem packed with psychic messages, the nonsense language that will bring a smile that tells of a secret joke...it is these moments that define motherhood for me. That connection that feels as huge as the universe and as comfortable as my own skin.