By Jacqueline Krozy
Snuggling your loving daughter on the carpet,
staring up at her nightlight,
giving her soft cheeks warm kisses to twinkle little star—
right before she goes to bed…
then returning to her crib before you slumber.
When you enter her room,
See her cuddling her books
You pick her up,
Cradle her innocence over your shoulder.
She reaches for the book in her sleep
And you know why she does it—
Ever since you built her
pastel pink and white bookshelf,
Overlooking the crib’s edge,
It was that very day when you
Witnessed her grow up. She grinned
While you struggled to tighten
The screws on that plastic case
And then heave, lifting it up,
Like the “Little Engine That Could”
Chugging through the door into her bedroom.
She saw every moment
earlier that day-
When she wanted you to play
you were glued to your psychology textbook,
hunched over the pages like a statue,
ignoring her tiny tugs on your jeans.
She knew what you were doing…
She kissed you on the head, cooing “Mommy”
To let you know how proud she is
Even if she could not say “I love you” clearly,
She kissed it to you.
Every night after you placed her in bed
Squealing and cheering her on, as she turned the stories
Page by page, transfixed by mischievous monkeys,
Awestruck at the moment Hannah is potty-trained,
Her rose-petal cherubic smile
shimmering, you revel
in that mommy-baby bonding moment—
Soft legs tucked in,
Kissing you on the cheek,
Your arms fastened to her
owl-quilted blanket, swaddling her body
She bids you a shrill bye
And lies awake, before she
Ravages the bookcase,
Pulls each book into her crib
with loud thunder thumps,
Before she retires into the
Pink, foamy fleece blanket,
Covered by a fort of books, and slumbers.
The next morning,
she remembers how hard you worked,
As she helps you put away each story,
proudly points to the goofy barnyard
animals, chirping “book, book”
Softly kissing it and your leg,
As she points to the shelf.
Later, at night, when you look in,
see her 29 month old body,
draped over her piles of stories,
awe overcomes you.
You feel again your body next to hers,
Like the blanket nestled over you both
When you read bedtime stories,
Your body glows.
Silently bowing over her softness,
You thank her with a wet forehead kiss,
Knowing she was the one
who inspired you to read the textbook,
build the bookcase in the first place.