Sunday, January 20, 2013

She lights up my life...

...she gives me hope to carry on, and so on and so forth. 

At the slightest chance of a long weekend (three nights and four days), I visit the button of my  life. She changes at every next encounter, her babbling now acquiring coherence to the adults around her. 

At mealtimes, she likes to check if we're all present around the dining table, then points with her forefinger at each of us: "Tats! Mamay! Booboo! Ate!" Then she sits down before her own small dining table (her Mamay and Tita Ida's study table when they were wee girls) to try to feed herself from a bowl with increasing success.
The half smile that can melt the hardest heart
Veteran huggers

Before or after breakfast, she enjoys a walk in the neighborhood children's park for her dose of Vitamin D, then comes back famished, ready for a snack and a yogurt drink. Then she hangs out in her nursery with her toys or joins her Mamay and Booboo in the home office. 

To keep her from distracting her working mom, I like to sing action songs, recite nonsense stuff or read to her. Or we look out the window to count the number of white butterflies. But such are the counting skills of Butones that she tends to speed things up, crying out, "Eight, nine, TEN!"

The weekend I was there I introduced her to my small collection of matryoska dolls. These Russian nesting dolls are a recurring image in some of my paintings. She can open them up and extract one smaller doll after another but not put them back together again. Next weekend, I will teach her their Russian names and see if she can repeat them. 

Her nighttime routine is to pass by the grandparents' room for the last-minute giggles and hugs. Her Grumpa Rolly, whom she calls Tats, taught her to bless his hand before she leaves to return to her room.

They say giving is better than receiving, and I quite agree. But with a grandchild like Butones, I just have to make the effort to go up and be there to be at the receiving end of her unconditional love.
So young yet she already knows her best angle, a trait that makes me think of my younger daughter.
Photos by Booboo Babeth and Mamay Kimi
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