As she grows

I watch her

in my 40s now

It’s called horizontal parenting

She jumps, just starting to get a whisp of air time

both feet inflight at once

She dances to the beat in her body

I tell her she can always find the beat with her heart

if she listens for it

She spins around one way

over and over and over and over


absolutely dizzy

bumping the table

then the couch

rolling onto the ground near me

I am still, except for my belly’s rise and fall

with laughter

She is still for three seconds

I count

Up and running again

“La pequena vaca, the little cow,” I say

“Torro torro, bull bull,” I say

“Corre corre corre, run run run,” I say

Her excitement builds as she

swings her arms back

kicks her left leg

leans forward and

charges towards me

The parenting books call them gross motor skills

the large muscles in her arms, legs and torso synapsing

neuron to neuron to muscle

And, I am here






on the floor

with arms wide

Can you imagine what this unfurling feels like?

her unfurling

her unfolding

the process of self-discovery

nearly 10 months spent curled unto herself

an occasional satisfying stretch here and there

until she mapped the confines of that first home with her small palms

and delicate fingers

when they decided to move, voluntarily, involuntarily, and brush up against the walls

The next months in a swaddle

for safety, for comfort, for the familiar

then one arm out, both arms out

a transition  

always in a transition

this breakthrough of movement,

this awe

this fascination

to now

to this moment

where my body wants more and more to rest

to find the quiet calm

to slow it down


and watch itself age

with its own grief

its own release

as I watch her age

We are on different trajectories

and almanacs

hurtling through space and seasons

we cross paths

her upright, defying gravity

me draped over the earth


At least, today

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