Friday, March 7, 2014

An Icon of Fame and Beauty

Yesterday, Sam and Henrietta and I went downtown to the Tucson Museum of Art, and we found a little pocket of downtown Tucson that felt like a real downtown. It wasn't just a sad whisper of Boston, but a genuinely hip part of Tucson with green space and cool restaurants. This was exciting. We looked up at the few high-rise apartment buildings and imagined living right around there, in walking distance to interesting shops and cafes and parks.

We were walking down the block, trying to find a place we'd heard about with good reviews and good prices for dinner, and Henrietta was holding my hand. She's taken to holding my hand lately, really holding it. Her hand is so small, and she grips mine like I matter more than I sometimes suspect I do. I hold on tight, in case she decides to dart away, but she's not interested in running off (yet). She's happy to walk right with me, connected to me, seeing the world pass by on the sidewalk.

In the crook of her other arm she held her lamb by the neck--the lamb you see at the top of the last post, a gift from her dad for Valentine's Day. Henrietta had on polka dot socks and little white summer shoes she'd insisted on wearing, and I could hear her feet slap-slap-slapping along the sidewalk next to me. Now and then, a pleasant gust of wind would hit us, ruffling our clothes and hair, and Henrietta would laugh and laugh. The wind, apparently, is hilarious.

People walking the other direction, leaving work with serious faces, would see her and smile. They'd point her out to someone walking with them, they'd comment on how lovely she was. And I thought I would burst. She was lovely. She is lovely. It felt for a moment like I was walking with an icon of fame and beauty, a celebrity. And babies are sort of celebrities, aren't they? Sam sometimes asks Henrietta, "You know who loves you?" And then he answers: "Everyone who meets you."

I hope I can remember how that felt, walking down the street with her, holding her hand, prouder to be with her than anyone, grateful to feel, even in small part, beautiful and famous by association.

6 comments:

Meeshab said...

The other day as I was watching nate play guitar with his metal band at the elementary school, a huge wave of love and gratitude flooded my brain. I was overwhelmed with love for him and silently prayed "God thank you for this beautifully perfect son". He was most perfectly shining in his best self. I'm not as eloquent as you but it was a fabulous moment. This post reminds me of that moment. The feelings of utter joy at these humans we get to help form just keep growing. Even in teenage years.

Terry Earley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
belann said...

I hope you always remember too. And, I hope Meesha remembers, but I have to say I still feel that way as I think of my children and grandchildren. I feel important because all of you are so wonderful.

Amara said...

I love this. I can tell all of the effort you go to to polish this and make the picture shine. So lovely.

Giuli said...

That was mine and jacks fav part of Tucson. Over by the college. Only he and I wished that we could afford the cool houses in the old neighborhoods. Glad you guys like Tucson so far. If you ever get a hankering for a long drive, check out flagstaff. One of the coolest places that I've ever lived.

Janae @ Bring-Joy said...

"I hope I can remember how that felt, walking down the street with her, holding her hand, prouder to be with her than anyone, grateful to feel, even in small part, beautiful and famous by association."
This is, one of the reasons why being a mom is the most amazing thing in the world.

My little Tyndale man is only 2 months now & I feel like every time I hold him, and coo, and get him to smile that I feel a resurgence of life & vitality. It's humbling, awe-inspiring, & all the cliche things you can think about parenting, all rolled into one.

I'm so happy for you, that you have your little Henrietta.