Daughter and I made it to the butterfly conservatory, finally. It is a place of wonder. But–oh!–to watch her, her eyes lit up, an intake of breath, her hands held out, as if she is taking it all in (not rushing into it, but taking it, receiving it, absorbing it) is to witness joy, tempered but unadulterated.
I don’t know which is more beautiful–the butterflies or my daughter’s wonder.
I finally got her to a pool. She has been wanting to work on her strokes. She goes under water, kicking, stroking, holding her breath, and pops up with an audible exhalation, her eyes swimming. Look! She tried this. Now she can do it. Then she tried that. She can! She can!
Kids love the butterfly garden. Kids like to swim. But with her, everything is a marvel, she is so full of vigor. I watch and wonder how my husband could have left her, how he could bear to have missed this, any of this, how he could bear to miss one minute with her.
And, it gets worse. She looks so small in the pool. She is so precious that I don’t understand how he could relinquish the chance to keep her safe.
At this point, when I fail to understand, I start to get it. Reaching a point when it doesn’t make any sense is when it starts to make sense.
I, her only caretaker, entrusted with so much to care for, call from my lounge chair,
“Way to go, kid.”