Friday, January 15, 2010

Belly buttons

One of the first games I played with Natalie was telling her what the different parts of her body are: The baby's nose, baby ears, baby toes and the BELLY BUTTON!!! It was something we could both get excited about. She loves when I tap her nose, tickle her feet and wiggle her ears. Mostly, though, she gives me the biggest grin when I exclaim "here's your BELLY BUTTON!!" Tonight I finally realized why it is that every time I change her clothes or diaper I feel this overwhelming desire to kiss her belly button.

It is what allowed me to give her life. It is what connected her body to mine. It is what fed her for nine months while she was being formed into the amazing creature who now occupies one hand while I type with the other.

I then realize that my belly button is what connected me to my mother and her to hers all the way through the beginning of time. This silly sounding body part that no longer serves any function beyond games and lint collection is the link to life. It is what nourishes us in our beginning, then is forgotten as we get older - as soon as the umbilical stump finally falls off in the first days of life.

There are many things in our lives that we take for granted - we poke holes in them not thinking what they mean to us, we forget how we got here in the first place. As I sit here, still feeling residual pains from my remarkably easy and beautiful labor, I am reminded of the miracle that is this perfect daughter beside me. There is nothing I love more about her than her belly button - it is the physical link between the two of us that led to the spiritual link I hope we develop throughout our relationship. As I tell her every day, I will love her more and more and more every single minute of every single day for the rest of my life. And for that, I thank her belly button.

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