Littleness

I’m not a foot person. I think they are generally pretty disgusting, but I will suck it up occasionally and rub Chris’ feet for him. I’m a good wife like that. And although I’m not a foot person, my favorite part of Caitlin? Her hands and feet.

She’s laying in my lap, still in pajamas, on a lazy, laundry day Sunday. Her little hands are holding her bottle as she looks up at me, milk leaking from her mouth, her feet pressing into my arm.

When she was a newborn and I hadn’t fallen in love with her yet, I would hold her hand while she nursed, pleading with my heart to feel a connection. I would gently rub her feet, the long feet she gets from her daddy, memorizing the curve and lines while waiting for us to click. When I finally fell head over heels in love, I was caressing her toes with one hand while stroking her fingers in another.

I eagerly waited for her to walk so I could hear her footsteps running down the hall. I kiss her palms every night before bed, or whenever we part so that if she begins to miss me, she has kisses saved up.

These little hands and feet that once upon she had no control over. These little toes and fingers that have grown for over a year. Palms and heels that were once forms of entertainment and have turned into tools and transportation. I love them. I kiss them every night. I rub them and caress them gently. I relish every cheek stroke, every gentle kick and slap for attention. They are the measurement of what she’s learned and how she’s transformed. They are no longer skinny baby ligaments, they are fat, chubby toddler instruments of love and torture. They have made their imprints on my skin and heart. Their length and curves and lines have been brandished into my mind and their softness on my sense of touch. They are eternal playthings for us, they are special games we play together. And as we do this, I remember my own mother when I was a child, rubbing my feet as I laid on the couch, pulling my toes to make them pop and feel better. I remember sliding my feet underneath her as she sat next to me, a habit I still do, now with my husband.

When she is sleeping at night and I cannot, I sneak into her room and sit in the rocking chair and listen to her breathing. I watch her rub her special blanket in-between her fingers and her feet touch the softness of her giraffe. I wonder what kind of woman she’ll grow up to be and if she’ll want to be a mother too. And if she does, I wonder if she’ll sit and rub her daughter’s feet and hands and remember our special moments, like I do now. I wonder during those moments with her own babies if she will think of me as a hero, like I do about my own mom. I wonder if I’ll be as generous and supportive throughout her life as my mom has been throughout mine, and will she want to be half the mom I was, like I want to be.

Before I leave for my own bedroom again, I kiss her forehead, the soles of her feet and the palms of her hands.

Her little hands. Her little feet. Her littleness.

This littleness that is she. That littleness that is me. The littleness that is us.

The littleness that makes me feel inadequate. The littleness that makes me feel strong. The littleness that breaks my heart and makes it feel overwhelmed with love and happiness all at the same time.

Her littleness.

This post is part of SOYJOY‘s What brings you joy contest. Learn more here.

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7 Responses

  1. *Sob* Oh, my.

    Strangest thing: when I think of my kids as they were when they were very small, I remember how they felt better than I remember how they looked or sounded. I remember the feel of Abbie’s chubby knees under my hands, and how Carter would melt into me. Jacob felt strong, even when he was soft with sleep.

    It will never, ever leave you, the memory of those moments.

  2. Good Lord, this post was absolutely breathtaking! I am all kinds of emotional right now. You should print that out and save it for her somewhere to have when she gets older. My mom did that for me and just recently I found some that I hadn’t read before. Big crying ensued, but I’m so glad I have those.

    Pua, this was moving. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to glance into your heart for a moment. Beautiful.

  3. I really enjoyed reading this post. I’m suffering from soon-to-be-kindergarten-mom-syndrome and remembering the twin’s tiny toes just 4 years ago makes my heart ache. Their little brother still has tiny toes, but each set has made its own set of prints on my heart.

  4. I loved my babies’ feet. They were so adorable! I’m with you all the way on this!

  5. What an endearing post. I think being a Mommy is the absolute best thing in the world. I love it more than anything. And I can tell that you do too! Enjoy the littleness because it is fleeting.

  6. That was gorgeous. Simply gorgeous. I love little toes…

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