Monday, October 26, 2009

"Can I hold you?" the child asked most dearly

I spent this evening with some old friends of mine (a small family whose members will be referred to hereinafter as "Momma" "Daddy" and "Baby," which is how they refer to each other respectively). Momma had made us all supper--her signature dish of rotini pasta, broccoli, tofu, onions, garlic and fresh Parmesan cheese to top. I thoroughly enjoyed three delectable and generous servings. Baby (who recently celebrated her second birthday and is a spot on Shirley Temple lookalike, complete with the huge blue eyes, bouncy blond ringlets, and an easy smile) could not possibly get enough cheese to grace the top of her pasta dish, a trait which readily endeared her to me.

After dinner, the family carved a pumpkin together (and by "the family," I mean the ever industrious Daddy). While Daddy was doing most of the work, Baby was cheerfully buzzing around the dinner table tickling everyone's back and doing "eye exams." At one point, she asked Momma to become the Tickle Monster (TM). Brave child that she is, she even clambered up on the TM's lap for a more effective scare. I admired Momma's technique which consisted of a lightly snoring TM, awakened by Baby's cries of delight. It was such an adorable scene that I could not help but giggle uncontrollably myself, which led to the TM unsuccessfully trying to repress a grin while preparing her TM slumber, in anticipation of an upcoming repeat tickle attack.

Once the superbly carved pumpkin had been lit and placed in its new home on the front door step, we moved into the living room for some playdough time. We made a family of pink, green, and blue teddy bears, a bowl of green p'sgetti soup and a purple turtle, among other flights of fancy. On occasion, Baby would repeat her mantra of "Can I hold you?,” followed by a quick hug around the waist. Sometimes she would sincerely offer up a playdough creation relaying that said animal also wanted to "hold you." What a dear, dear child she is!

Although I am not invested in the idea of having children of my own or a traditional family such as theirs, I could not help but thoroughly take pleasure in my time with them. They are plainly the most devoted of families: ever with laughter on their lips and a joke in the ready. I'm so very happy for Momma and Daddy. They deserve their exquisite nuclear family and I always find gratifying the opportunity to bask in the affectionate atmosphere that envelops them. There is really nothing like it on earth, the tenderness of a young family.

Om shanti <3