July 11, 2009

Zuzu's Petals


"Though you might hear laughin', spinnin', swingin' madly across the sun,

It's not aimed at anyone, it's just escapin' on the run"

-"Mr. Tambourine Man" by Bob Dylan

Life has moved faster than I thought it would, and I'll be 25 soon. I figured that if I were meant to ever get pregnant and have a baby, I would have at least tried to by this age. Sure, I've got years left (although people have babies much too old now, in my opinion), but I feel like the curtain is closing on that part of my life for whatever reasons. Who knows.

Last night, I watched "Away We Go". Leaned back with popcorn and a Pepsi, I got a little choked up as Verona, the pregnant woman in the movie, sings a little girl to sleep with "Mr. Tambourine Man". Her boyfriend, Burt, watches from the next room. If I were ever a mom, I think I'd sing it. I hope I would be that cool.

Today, though, I got to borrow a baby-my niece (and goddaughter- I think goddaughter sounds like so much more of an honor, but I can't really introduce her like that). So many things popped into my mind- we could go to the farmer's market, I could take a million pictures of her there, we could play the piano, and we could dance- lots of the same things I did with my baby brother.

I quickly found that kids equal detours. I drove the trip across town to my apartment with my right hand dangling in the carseat, so she could grasp my fingers while she sang a "Ba, ba, ba" song to me. We played the piano for a little while, her hand resting on my to force me to pound out the notes. Her toys were spread out all over my room and she ignored them to watch a music screensaver on my laptop. She took naps at weird times and ate at weird times, but it all worked out in the end.

Today, I learned much about her. She loves Rick James, likes MGMT, and does not give the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album a good review. She likes her peaches and is not a fan of green beans. She knows the "Ma, ma, ma" song in addition to "Ba, ba, ba", although they sound fairly similar. Umbrellas scare her, as do empty containers of Cheerios. And her stuffed elephant does not compare to a flower.

On our walk back to the apartment, we stopped in to the flower shop. I looked around at the multi-colored antique bottles and rare orchids, barely noticing when the shop lady snipped a pink gerber daisy and handed it to Becca. She held it up to her nose as if she knew that's what flowers were for, then waved it around to show it off. When we got back, she grasped it tight while she ate, squeezing some of the petals and letting them fall all over my lap. I tried to unclench her hand and trade her for a Cheerio, but she wouldn't budge. Only when her head sunk into my shoulder and her eyes closed was I able to stick it in a cup of water.

It's things like this. I remember the strength of love I felt for my little brother as a baby, even though I was a kid myself. There is nothing on this earth I wouldn't have done for him, and when my mom told me I would love my own kids even more, I didn't believe her. How could I have felt more for someone than him? I still can't comprehend that, but I felt the same thing today for Becca as I did for Matthew so long ago (and still).

Because she doesn't know that I stalled on writing a paper that's due to spend the day with her, and she didn't know that I'm a bad role model eating doughy orange rolls for dinner. All she knows is that in those barely conscious moments before sleep, she could find a comfortable spot leaning against me. And all I know is that love can't get bigger than at that very second.

I'd begun my paper and gotten up for a drink when I found a close second- walking into the kitchen and seeing her flower floating there, crushed and half gone. But still blooming.

2 kind comments from you:

Nicholereo333 said...

YAY to cute babies i havent babysat in forever since like March and he was almost 2, but they are something

Rachel Smith said...

I got chills when I read the very last part, wow. <3

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