Your absent smile is a void that cannot be filled, despite the volume of laughter. You were always the happiest baby, carefree, and content to enjoy every waking moment. Now as you approach adulthood, I can see that a bit of that shiny sheen has worn off, but you still retain some much childlike beauty and joy that is contagious.
Our home is quiet without your wit, sarcasm, and jokes. I miss hearing you call me ‘ma-ma’ in your formal tone when you think I’m not listening. And I miss those moments when you try so hard not to laugh, forcing yourself to look oh-so-serious, but the corners of your mouth turn upward in defiance, and your face can’t help but erupt into a sliver of laughter. It’s always been my lie detector, that smile, and it never fails.
You used to giggle at nothing when you were little. Just for the sheer pleasure of enjoying whatever life would bring, and that sound would life on the air like musical balloons, filling us all with wonder and happiness. Although you have lost your chubby esthetic, you haven’t lost that sing song lilt to your laughter that feels like pieces of metal tinkling in the wind at dusk. It reminds me of the silver baby rattle your grandmother bought for you, the ones enameled with a dark sky and stars, that when shaken produces a rich melody like bubbled rain meeting a tin roof.
You dance in a similar fashion, all lightness and presence. I didn’t get to tell you, but in your last performance, there was a moment in your duet when lifted off the earth and I could swear you defined time and space, landing as softly as a feather. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything so beautiful as you when you reach for the stars.
I just want you to know I love you, and when you are ready, the walls in our home are ready to ring and bounce with your laughter once more.
Reflections of a woman spawned in a cement cocoon...