I creep up the stairs and gently crack the door, knowing that you'll wake up not matter how quiet I am. I'm never actually fast enough to catch the tumble-roll that you do in your crib as you quick-shift from sleep to point-setter alert. You stand and grin at me with six teeth and dimpled cheeks. Your long, blinking eyelashes try to shield you from the light. In your tight grip Sapo hangs cheerfully by his left foot and you present him to me.
I get on all fours and crawl in. I pretend to be a tiger, which makes you squeal. We play for a little while, looking at each other between the crib rails, before I swoop you up into the air. I bury my nose into your downy hair. I inhale slowly and deeply.
Denise Shea ©2009