May 18, 2012
Mama & Daddy
There's a photo on our fridge. It sounds like nothing remarkable, but it is.
Nestled among magnets for pizza places, poems I've printed out, and notes scribbled with important reminders, is our Christmas card from the past year. As many photos as I take, we have so few of our family, and even fewer printed out, so the Christmas card is kept up year round.
And every morning when Millie wakes up, and after every nap she takes, she rubs her sleepy eyes, points vaguely in the direction of the kitchen, and says it.
"Mama and Daddy?"
"Yes," I tell her every time. "That's a picture of Mama and Daddy and Millie." She remembers it's there before she is even in the room to see it. She looks at me with her eyes widening, her mouth open like she wants to say a million things at once. "Mama and Daddy," she repeats as a statement this time, not a question.
And she doesn't know. She doesn't know of the past, when it was a question and not a statement. She doesn't have any memory of those weeks and months fraught with unanswered questions and broken hopes.
Instead, she almost slurs the two words together as she says them. Mamandaddy. Together.
There are some mornings I bring her up to my chest, kiss the top of her head as I hold her to me, and whisper a thank you into the air.
Thank you that she strings along the syllables because they're able to be connected. Thank you, God, that we are one word to her.