She comes to me, her arms outstretched, blue eyes meeting mine with a plea. You hole me, Mommy? Pwease? I pull her up, her body fitting onto my hip like a well-placed puzzle piece.
I call her my baby koala when she wraps her arms tight around my neck. We snuggle together for a moment, or a million, and then she puts my face in her hands. I puff out my cheeks, or she squishes them, or we blow in each other's faces, or we kiss kiss kiss.
I try to do this, when she asks me to hold her, instead of saying Just a minute or Not right now, because I know these moments won't last forever. I know there will be a time when those pools of blue roll at the sound of my voice. When her body might shrug away at my touch.
She is my baby. They both are my babies, but right now she is still the baby. And maybe sometimes I still baby her. I'm okay with that. Because when she wants a snuggle, I want to say yes so much more than no.
We hold onto each other until she is done. And then I put her down and she goes to play. But sometimes she holds out her hand and asks, Follow me, Mommy?
How can I say no? I take her hand and follow.