(Sweet dress from Auntie Katie)
Kate's ability to perceive that there are other creatures in her universe increases daily. The other day, Jay was giving Kate a bath (I usually give the baths, but I try to have him do it whenever possible because she truly doesn't cry as much when he does it). He pulled her out of the warm water (the part she hates because, to her, being cold is worse than anything--anything--except maybe being hungry) and laid her on a towel. She pulled her sad, cute lemon face and started her pre-yelling hyperventilating, and Jay said, "It's okay" in a soothing voice a couple times, and she relaxed. A minute later, she started working herself up again, and Jay said, "It's okay, Kate. It's okay." And she relaxed again.
"When I tell her it's okay, she calms down," he said, awed. And she was calm: she was so cold her little gums were chattering and her chin was quivering, but she was practically serene as he dressed her.
Now, she's not like that for me, no matter how many times I tell her she's okay. But a few minutes ago, I tried to put her down for a nap because she's exhausted, and she started crying in her swing. A pacifier worked for a minute, but her distress quickly returned. I swaddled her and cradled her in my arms, my cheek pressed against her downy head. She relaxed into me, but arched her back and cried when I laid her down again. I listened to her cries as I switched a load of laundry to the dryer, hoping the white noise would comfort her. She yelled louder.
I walked back into the room and looked at her sweet, contorted face and her kicking legs. On a whim, I started singing her this song. She stopped crying almost immediately and locked her eyes on my face as she swung back and forth. She was so obviously aware of me it took my breath. My throat tightened, but she remained still as I struggled through all three verses.
She knows me, I thought. She hears my voice. My presence and very existence is comforting to her.
I am completely consumed by the burden and sweet blessing of her trust.