On an Easter weekend visit to Southern California, fresh spring green transformed the often-brown hills. Blowsy roses, orange poppies, and fragrant jasmine crowded the sidewalk on neighborhood walks. In Sweet Baby’s garden, sweet peas covered the tomato trellis. Brought indoors, their fragrance filled the house.
Just turned one-year old, Sweet Baby is a little little for the whole fun of Easter egg hunts, but I had such a good time living her regular life.
Her cousin Lady Baby sent the best birthday present. A drum, doubling as a container, holds bells, shakers, and textured sticks to rub together. Sweet Baby loves making sounds with the instruments, smiles and sways to the music.
She’s a close observer of all the doings of life – watches each move when you hold her on one hip while making one-handed a sandwich or cup of tea. I love the open armed delight she repeatedly shows when she spots us – a big grin and dash to be scooped up and hugged. And she hugs back the most wonderful embraces, wrapping her little legs and arms and squeezing.
She walks and runs with no hesitation now – circles the dining room table, hides behind a chair, and reappears to our great surprise. Wearing just a diaper and a determined air, she investigated the exam room at her one-year doctor appointment.
When we visited the Eagle Rock library to check out books, Sweet Baby selected a plastic orange and a strawberry from the toy corner and carried them as she explored the library’s aisles of books. At a nearby park we had a picnic in the shade of a big tree.
We spent Easter Sunday afternoon at the Huntington Gardens, joining many little children dressed in Easter finery. After lunch on an outdoor patio (little bites of quesadilla and honeydew melon), we managed to peek quickly at a current exhibition, “Impressionist Gardens,” and then Sweet Baby began to move. Carrying a small, soft Peter Rabbit by the scruff of his neck, down sidewalks and across lawns, she stopped only to pick up leathery leaves.
Sweet Baby practices physical movements with the diligence of an athlete in training – willing to repeat and retry till perfect. For her birthday she received a small climbing structure with molded steps up the side (like a ladder), and a short slide that makes for a quick ride. Sweet Baby doesn’t bother with the steps. To pull up she’s learned to fling herself onto the platform, counterbalancing her weight and locking her elbows behind the edges of the opening. She’s still working on the descent, resisting headfirst and figuring out feet first.
A cardboard packing box provided another challenge. To climb into a box requires several maneuvers and much determination. Hold down an edge, lift one foot high enough to clear the edge, and then figure out how to position hands and get the second foot inside.
We help a little by holding down the opposite side of the box, and watch her concentrate on these moves, not to be interrupted and so satisfied when she’s seated in the box.
Frequently flashing her gap tooth grin at all the goodness in life, Sweet Baby is full of the gift of perseverance – and so much joy.