When she first wakes up my daughter’s eyes, a deep, dark, bottomless blue, search for me. They don’t have to look far. When they find me she smiles a smile that, if it had a voice, would say “Oh, it’s you! I like you!”
We play a little waking up game, then. I bring the covers up over us to make it darker, then bring them down. Up, down, up. She reaches for them like she reaches for everything these days and tries to bring it to her mouth. I let the blanket stroke over her face so she can feel the softness of it. She loves that.
I put her down on her back and then come in to shower her little face with kisses. She squeals and touches my face with her long, expressive, ever-moving fingers. I’m looking forward to the day she can kiss me back.
My daughter’s eyes have a singular intensity. They focus on a thing and it becomes her whole world. Sometimes that’s her toy, Fat Chicken. She likes to yell at him a lot. Sometimes it’s her own fingers, a blanket, one of the cats. It’s a kind of pure concentration, a single-minded intent. I’ve never seen anything like it.
When she was born her hair was medium brown with a perfect mohawk. Her hair, at 17 weeks, is now growing in white blonde. She still has the dark mohawk, only now it spirals into three perfect curls that keep growing longer and wispier.
She sleeps on me during the day and those changeling eyes are shuttered for a while. Her sleeping face is peaceful, she giggles sometimes and I wonder what she's dreaming about. She blinks awake, looks for me, and smiles that humbling smile. We play, we talk, I sing to her. Sometimes she cries. She eats. A lot.
When it’s bedtime we have a routine. We say goodnight to all the art on the walls and her dad. We sing a little song, "Good night ladies on the wall, good night ladies, one and all! Good night daddy, he's so great, Good night daddy it's getting late!"
Then we rock with a bottle as she plays with the fingers on my right hand with her left. She likes to grab my pinky, pull it back, let go, then back again. Then she likes to run her fingertips over the back of my hand. Her skin is softer than anything I have ever felt.
My face is the last thing she sees before she finally drifts off, holding my hand.