Finger thumb caress
a cereal box treasure.
Daughter was the perfect baby. Perhaps we should have recognized that as a sign. Instead, we chose to just be grateful and humbled in her peaceful presence.
She rarely cried, even in the toddler years when she'd bang her head against something whilst racing to some place important. She'd rub her head, trying to stop any tears, and say, "I okay. I okay."
She was a self-soother, and she latched onto a small orange cat figurine as a must-have. She happened upon it when we were visiting England when she was not yet two years old. She carried it with her everywhere for a few years. Which is not to say there weren't frantic occasions where it got misplaced and entire houses were upended to find the damn thing.
It was her talisman. When things weren't right with the world -- when Ee-ee was stricken with cancer and had to go through chemo, when Daughter was plopped into a preschool setting far too early for her temperament, when the world was over-stimulating and loud and threatening to overwhelm her to the point of no return, when her parents didn't "get" there was an issue -- that orange cat was there.
She's 11 now. [Daughter, not the cat.] She has not turned to the cat for many, many years. I have, from time to time, carried that cat with me. It lives on top of my dresser, along with its blue bunny companion, and alongside teeth and teeny hospital bands and blurry ultrasound photos.
It remains a talisman.
[Thank you to the poets at One Single Impression.]