Kid Chronicles The adventures and random observations of a new mom


Laughing together

Photo of my daughter reaching for the camera"Mama's face," my daughter says, stretching her hands up toward me as she lies in bed.

It's bedtime. We've read our stories and sung our goodnight songs. Lights are out, and her moon and star nightlight glows softly on the wall. I speak in low tones, trying to create a calm atmosphere conducive to sleep.

But I can't resist her little hands, reaching for me, palms up, begging to cup my cheeks. "Mama's face," she repeats.

She's been on a "together" streak for the last few months. Everything is "together."

There's a constant barrage of updates on what the two of us are doing at any given moment. "Mama and Lydia walking together!" "Mama and Lydia eating together!" Or even, simply, "Mama and Lydia together!" said with tears in her eyes when she doesn't want me to leave her in her room to play by herself.

"Mama's face," she says again.

And I impulsively lean down, put my cheeks between her hands and shake my head back and forth. We both dissolve into giggles, completely inappropriate for bedtime. Uncontrollable giggling is not on the list of things that will lull your child to sleep.

"Laughing together," she says.

A new phrase, a variation on a recent theme, but with a new meaning that stuns me. For all of her recent "together" declarations, somehow laughing together seems so much more significant.

My mind lights up with visions of the two of us laughing together through childhood into her adolescence and adulthood. And I simultaneously realize that it's been a long, long while since I've had the luxury of giving myself over to helpless laughter about something completely silly.

Funny -- I feel old and tired a lot, but I also feel so, so young when I'm laughing together with my daughter.