She did - covering me in prayer - I"m sure.
I recalled Julie's words - "I won't let you grow hard. That won't happen." I can't not share in these happy days just because they were stolen from us.
I said a prayer.
Floating on the happiness in the room that anticipates this blessing of new life, I smiled and laughed.
The hostesses had asked that we bring books instead of cards. I thought the gesture was a stroke of genius. The parents-to-be left with dozens of books, the promise of laughter and memories to come.
The mom-to-be opened The Napping House toward the end, and for a moment, I felt my throat grow small.
Taylor Renee loved The Napping House when she was little girl. Before she could read the words, she would call her Grammie and "read" the book to Grammie over the phone having memorized every word. The illustrations in the book made her giggle, and the house contained a "grammie" just like hers. (In the book, the word is "Granny", but she didn't know the difference then, so I took a mom's privilege. Insert smiling emoji.) The repetition and alliteration of the book lent itself to memory, and she would recite with great animation quieting her voice as more and more creatures are introduced in the house
"where evwey won is sweeping" (everyone is sleeping)
and elongating the vowels in 'dweeeaming' child and 'coooozy' bed. Finally, when calamity strikes and the flea bites, a crescendo of sound topples the crew and the entire house awakes. Taylor's green eyes would grow wide with perfect glee and she would announce with great satisfaction and the limited speech of a toddler who had not yet mastered her "l" s and "w" s -
"in the napping house ware no won now is sweeping"
(in the napping house where no one now is sleeping).
Her hands left the book, her fingers fanned framing her chubby cheeks, and her mouth left round and open with dramatic delight.
The showers guests commented lovingly about the book while I sat with my memory. My shoulders relaxed, and my heart listened for her voice.
I said, "I love you baby girl."
I remember what "I love you mama." sounds like so I let my mind play that tape; it was a very good thing.