Sunday, April 20, 2014

Wide-eyed wonder

Small, chubby legs run toward the young lady dressed as a princess. The biggest hug follows. She is meeting one of her most beloved characters.

 Wide-eyed wonder in everything she sees. A little girl takes time to smell the flowers, build a birds nest from colorful Easter grass she places carefully in a bush. "The birds need this," she says, while she puts bits of purple flowers, pieces of twigs, even a fresh, red strawberry to entice the nesting creatures. "Shhh, be quiet," she says, "we don't want to scare them away."

She proudly clutches her Easter basket to her, filled with brightly colored plastic eggs as if it's the greatest treasure on earth. She bites the head from a chocolate bunny and stains of delicious brown rim her cherub's mouth.

She holds her dolly, her favorite crocheted blanket near her heart; some of her first possessions in this world. The blanket, a bit worse for wear, lovingly washed many, many times, her soothing refuge.

She slips on plastic sparkly princess shoes and a summertime dress and twirls around singing songs in a voice sounding like the world's most adorable Walt Disney character.

She climbs in my lap, something has frightened her. I soothe her with nonsensical words and make her giggle. The sound is the most melodious music, the singing of angels.

She knows nothing of the troubles of this world, not yet, not now. Her thoughts are of comfort, kids movies, dollies, singalong songs, magic. Her little plate, not yet full, holds a future, a smorgasbord of adventure, blessings, love and laughter. And for now, she is content in a mother's lap, a father's embrace, a grandmother's kiss.

She is a little girl and in her heart, she always will be.