Saturday, December 1, 2007

It's indescribably beautiful

My lovely older daughter woke me at 3:30 am with repeated kicks to the kidneys, just like when she was still in my womb. Now, 8 years older and some 70-odd pounds heavier, she really packs a wallop. Long after she'd settled back into that heavy slumber only children can attain without drugs, I lay there wide awake, my mind a-whirl.

I got up after a fruitless hour of trying to re-enter my dreams and found my little Lucy awake on the couch, stuffed cheetah under one arm, and the real life, purring Cheetah on her lap.

"Mommy! You're awake!" she chirped at me.

Nodding, I plunked myself down next to her and she gave me a smack on the cheek followed by that famous Lucy Smile. She reached up and petted my hair, a sweet quirk of hers she's had since infancy and one which she reverts to in our quiet moments together. I shivered in the early December morning air, looked out the window and saw that winter had come in the night and covered the ground with pristine white crystals. The air was still thick with silent falling snow. I gave Lucy a kiss and got up to make my Marine-strong pot of coffee.

Natalie came out of my room holding her blanket. "Mommy? Is it still night or is it morning?"

"Both, actually honey. It's early," I replied. "Do you want to go back to bed? I'm just making some coffee and then I'm going to put in a movie for me and Lucy."

*yawn* "Nope. I wanna sit with you on the couch."

Some ten minutes later, there we were, all three of us girls and one content orange tabby snuggled together on the couch with a pile of pillows and a heap of blankets, afghans and comforters, watching "A Christmas Story."

No matter how many times I watch that movie, and I watch it dozens of times during the build-up to Christmas, I laugh to the point of crying, and cry to the point of hiccuping. My girls have seen that movie so many times that they rattled off bits of the dialogue with me perfectly and giggled in anticipation of favorite moments.

Lucy hooked her little arm in mine and rested her silky-haired head on my arm while Natalie looked over at me and grinned the same face-splitting smile she's had since she first gazed up at me and laughed as a fat and happy baby.

This is the color, shape, smell and touch of contentment. If I never do another great thing in my life, I know that I helped bring these two sweet, loving creatures into the world.

Life is hard, but indescribably beautiful.