“Mmm. That feels good,” she whispered.
Yes. Yes, it did. I enjoyed brushing her hair. It was a simple time together, a quiet time, where no words were spoken, but none had to be. It was an action of adoration, love poured out with each journey of the brush through her fine locks. She enjoyed my affection, enjoyed my attention, and I enjoyed her reaction. She wanted me to do it.
One day she wouldn’t ask me. She would just do it herself.
What if this was the last time?
I contemplated the thought while I brushed. Smooth strokes, my hand traveling down to the ends.
“It feels so soft,” I commented.
You never know when something you’re doing may be the last time. It’s easy to take for granted the every day, never realizing it’s to become not again.
I can remember sitting on the couch at my mother’s house visiting. I was about to start a string of -hour shifts at work, and I started getting ready to leave for the night. She asked if I could stay, stay the night, and go to work from her house in the morning.
“I just love having all my chicks in the nest,” she had mused.
I stayed. I slept there on the couch. We watched a movie together, I can’t recall which one. But I do recall how she looked sitting in her chair, the new blanket I had given her for her birthday spread across her lap, the way her face transformed when she laughed at something funny I said.
Savor the Moment With Your Child
I never knew, at the time, that moment would be our last, that night my last memory of time together, the last time I would see her smile. I didn’t realize the next time I saw her she would be in a casket, and that her smile would not be the same. I’m glad I stayed that night. Even though I didn’t know it would be the last.
I brushed my daughter’s hair. Downward strokes, soft, shining, beautiful. It wasn’t a morbid thought, like I worried my child might pass from this world any moment, but rather it was a realization of the passage of time. Time. Such a fleeting thing. It went so quickly, so much so that if you didn’t take a breath to enjoy it, it might slip before you were even aware.
Parents died. Babies grew up. Chubby cheeks became defined cheekbones. Plump fingers lengthened into graceful and dexterous joints. Legs lengthened, they learned to crawl, then walk, then run. Sometimes they fell, but one day you’d kiss the very last booboo to make it better, and you’d wonder where your magic went.
Brush, brush, smooth, soft. Downward strokes, one, two, three. Bedtime kisses, morning cuddles, piggyback rides.
This morning I heard her calling to me.