There are certain moments that send ripples of joy through your heart, almost literally. Something so small that it could even go by unnoticed, makes you feel like time has frozen at this very moment, and it’s carved in your mind forever.
One of those moments came dancing at me two days ago.
My sister had gone out with her husband and dropped off her two-and-a-half-month-old baby at our house so Mom – mainly- would take care of her. Mostly, Mom takes care of the vital processes, so to speak, while I get to play with the baby when she’s full and content with a light, clean diaper, and doesn’t feel like sleeping.
Since she hasn’t even turned 3 months old yet, the baby still doesn’t seem to recognize those around her, other than her mother and father probably, and my mother as I noticed once since she’s very involved with her, but for the rest of us we’re those strange creatures who make weird faces and sounds at her whenever they see her. Apparently we’ve grown on her that she has recently started to smile and even give a mute laugh from time to time.
So, I was sitting in my room and I heard her whimper from the living room. I knew she was just bored since she has just gulped down a bottle of milk, so I thought it was time for some baby songs and aunt-niece quality time. So as I walked into the living room, I started talking to her before she could see me as I was coming from behind her, and the moment she heard the voice she was startled, and when my came into view she gave that look and smile that completely melted my heart: she has recognized me.
I don’t think I’ve ever experienced this with any of my nieces before, the moment of the first recognition, it always just happened over time, and if I ever become a mother I don’t think I’m likely to experience that either. We spent over an hour playing and dancing to baby songs (More like swaying her from right to left to baby songs), and I don’t think I have ever had the patience to spend that amount of time with a baby. I already told my sister I’m adopting her, she already has another two of them, she needs to share.
But let’s go back to the smile. I was thinking how Qamar, the baby I’ve been rambling about passionately for the past 5 or so paragraphs, smiles right after she wakes up and sees someone looking her. I realized, that’s the purest of all smiles. She’s a baby, she can’t be doing it consciously out of courtesy, she’s doing it because her mind sends her signals that she’s happy, so she smiles to tell you that she’s genuinely happy to see you.
They say that an aunt’s love is still nothing compared to a mother’s love, but I have my doubts about that. I can’t imagine loving anyone more than I love my nieces. I’m even at peace with the idea that I might never have children of my own because, well, I have 3 gorgeous nieces who I’ve held in my arms, fed, burped, clothed, took out for pizza, watched movies with, rode horses with, who drove me crazy at public places, who I shouted at and reproached then felt guilty about it, and whose smiles are the best antidote for a bad mood.
What else could one want?