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Friday, February 22, 2008

babysitting, part 2

so, my brother, his wife, and lmsp have come to nyc for a visit. lmsp seems to just get cuter by the day. she's still a wiggly, giggly little thing, but now she can speak. she says "hat," "ball," "up," "out," "mama," "dada," and "amah." you know what that last one is? me! she apparently repeats my name over and over again when i'm not around, hoping i'll climb out of the cabinet i must be hiding in. it's pretty spectacular to be a kid's first name after mama and dada. it's a bittersweet victory for me, knowing that it should have been "gamma." as i lay next to her, rubbing her back as she tried to fall asleep, wiggling her little tush as she settled into place, i couldn't help but think of how my mom should be there in my place, snuggling and shushing lmsp into dreamland.

being in that apartment... laying on the couch she so often napped on, drinking from the cups she always set out at dinner, seeing her handwriting on little notes jotted down on her "bird lover" stationery... feels like walking around in a haunted place. the ghost of my mom is everywhere there... even in lmsp's gigantic, life-loving smile. there's a pang every time i see something of hers... sometimes it's a big pang that catches my breath in my throat. others, it's just a little poke at the bruise on my heart. with lmsp, it tends toward the latter... it's just hard to get caught up in my own grief when she is shuffling around in my over-sized shoes with my mom's basket-weave purse dangling between her feet and a big, goofy grin spread across her face.

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