My treasures

When folks know you're bringing a child into the home, the only advice they offer is mostly complaining about the lack of sleep, lack of time, or the financial burden of raising kids . . .how grueling it is to wake up in the wee hours of the night to feed a newborn or how trying it is to wrestle with a terrible toddler or rebellious teenager.  They say things like, "You'll see how hard it is" (and no doubt, it is definitely hard!) or "Wait until they're fifteen!"  They don't mention often enough the contentment of simple, precious moments such as . . . 

-- when N. shifts her body until she's in the middle of my chest, so that she can listen to my heartbeat just like when she was in the NICU, and we had skin-to-skin time.
-- when I gaze into my little sea monkey's round face that was so thin and hollow at birth and I feel how heavy she's grown in just a month and a half, and I see how the title of Miss Moonpie 2012 (thanks to Auntie K. for the reference) really does befit her.
-- even though she can't see quite yet, when her focus is on me as I cradle her, she smiles and I notice the dimple in her left cheek.
-- when I fit her into the Moby carrier, and we can actually get out the door for a short stroll around the neighborhood.
-- when I tell her cousins that she will respectfully call them Ate/Manang or Kuya/Manong, and they are excited to have an affectionate designation themselves.
-- the 'life has come full circle' look on Lola's, Lelang's, Apong's, Grandma's and Grandpa's faces as they rush to grab her from her bassinet.
-- when N. nestles into the crook of my arm as I go through my repertoire that consists of Rutgers songs, Broadway showtunes, Ilocano and Tagalog melodies, and '60s through the '80s pop and she finally falls asleep.
-- when I'm up with N. during her early morning feeding, and I sing Elvis' My Way (also Dad's theme song) as my eyes well up because I know my Dad would have been thrilled to meet her.

These are indeed my Life's treasures.