Two arms lifted, a silent question to love and to be loved.
Two small dimples, the indents right above the elbow that flash like small smiles upon my heart.
But the smiles fade.
The bones grow, the once roly-poly smoothes and straightens.
I strain to lift, the startling solid weight of her against me. Holding her hand in mine, I start, surprising sadness at the firm grasp that meets mine–no longer the chubby hand of a toddler, but the long, lean fingers of a little girl.
I envelop their grace, small and elegant against a mother’s unmanicured hand, nail polish chipping.
And I try to hold on to it, to memorize it, to remember the babe that once fluttered across my belly, in my arms, rested on my cheek.
I swallow back the sadness, brace bold against the days ahead–for laughter that will spill and new discoveries and growth that will hurt and heal.
How I will miss those hands.