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The Beginning of Understanding

Today I will take Little Girl to her nine month well-visit at the pediatrician. Nine months. She's been in this world as long as she was inside me. Hard to believe. Wonderful to realize. Because this is a yummy age. She is sturdy, but still small. She is starting to swim and scoot across the floor, pulling herself with determination like a little blond soldier. She has two teeth on the bottom; little white squares that make me smile. Her hair continues to sprout, and stick up, and this garners many smiles. From us. From others.

She does not yet have a slew of real words. But she says wonderful things like "Da da da blah blah blah" in her crib in the morning before I get her. But what amazes me, really amazes me, really blows me away is that she is starting to understand. Recently, I said to her, "Clap, clap, clap." I did not clap myself, just said the words. And she looked at me, tilted her head, pinned me with those impossible blues and she did it.

She clapped. Three times. Clap. Clap. Clap.

And it wasn't just a clap. Or three. It wasn't a messy, first-time, baby clap. It was a perfect, precise, almost pretentious, little golf clap.

I can't describe it. The pride. The amazement. The fascination.

She is a little person. A little person at the beginning of it all. Life. Understanding. So much.

And so. I will take her today. To our wonderful doc. And we will find out how big she is. And I will turn to the doctor and I will say it, "She understands me. She does the most magical little clap." And maybe I will get her to do her little party trick right then and there in the office. Or maybe not. It doesn't matter.

What matters is this. This feeling, familiar and wildly new somehow. This feeling of robust love and reverence. For a certain creature. For a certain role. For a certain memory, etched permanently already.

Clap. Clap. Clap.

So simple. So not.

Do you have vivid memories of moments like these? Do you remember when your little ones started to understand you?

Life's White Lights

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