Mostly she teaches me about myself, which sounds a little narcissistic, but true.
When she looks at me, I wonder who she sees.
She doesn’t judge me or yell at me. She, somehow, sees past all of my flaws and simply accepts me for who I am. When I become frustrated with her in the middle of the night, during her growing pain eating sessions, she doesn’t hold it against me. Instead she snuggles in closer, leaning in to my exhaustion to remind me of what matters most.
I want to love like that.
She is teaching me how.
Her eyes follow me around the kitchen while I prepare dinner. This small habit of tracing my every step makes Sean laugh and stand in amusement to watch her watching me. I watch him back, which makes June’s eyes bounce from parent to parent wondering what she is missing, a pendulum hanging between us, swinging in space.
She is learning about life through my actions.
At night, when the exhaustion of the day settles in to our bones, making us ache and yawn, I turn off the lights in her room and nurse her to sleeping, reading our favorite bedtime books. She looks at me with intent eyes, soaking in the last moments she will see me, holding my gaze in an attempt to stay awake just a little while longer. Eventually she succumbs to sleep and I linger a little longer in her room, snuggling the one who loves me most.
In the quiet of the night, when no one’s eyes are watching, I imagine what we look like to the moon.
Can the stars feel her love for me?
Can she, now sleeping, feel my love for her?
Even in the quietest moments of the day, when darkness encloses us and the world is silent, she is teaching me to love.