Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dancing Through Life

This morning Gracie woke up first and crawled into bed with me, which is a bit unusual. Usually the girls either wake each other up and they start playing and ignore me, or I am up before they are, or Maggie gets up first, and she's not a morning snuggler.

Gracie coming into my room is always a time I treasure. She always gets up and hops out of bed without fully waking up, so this morning, she stumbled in sleepily and climbed under the covers. She snuggled up so close, draping her warm little body over mine and I could feel her hot little breath against the back of my neck. At this early part of the morning she hasn't turned on the wiggles yet, and it's the only time, ever, that she is that still. She fell back asleep, moving away slightly as our combined body warmth overwhelmed her, but still maintaining some sort of contact. I managed to roll over and study her little profile. The amazing thing about Gracie is that she seems stuck in a bit of a time warp, like Peter Pan, refusing to grow up. Perhaps it's because she hasn't lost those tiny baby front teeth yet, but she still looks very much like she did when she was four. Now, as she sleeps against me, the big difference is that her feet are pressed against my thighs, instead of her toes tucked into my bellybutton as we doze together.

My thoughts drift and I think about the girls and their different personalities. Maggie is my grown up girl - six going on sixteen, if you know what I mean. She looks older and wiser, tries to know-it-all, and worries about things beyond her control. As I have recovered from surgery this week, she has tried to take care of me, following her Daddy's example of holding my hand as I began walking around, offering me support as I got up from the chair, and so forth. She is turning into a beautiful caring young lady, and I feel so blessed to see this transformation even as I want to keep her the little girl that I love so much. I lay there and think about my girls, so similar and yet so different, and look forward to watching them grow.

After thirty minutes or so Gracie's eyes flutter open, and we make small talk while we wait for Maggie to wake up and join us. I'm lying on my back with my left arm stretched out under Gracie's head, and she's lying on her stomach, with her right hand on my left, our fingers twined together. She turns her head towards me and says, "Some people's hands go like this when they are dancing, but we're not." I smile, and as think about the dance of daily life that we do I am struck by the thought that, indeed, yes, this is a very special dance, and I hope the girls want to dance with me for a long, long time.

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