The Sweetest Sound

Last night, I sat in our big red chair and held our daughter in my lap. She and I were looking into one another's eyes and making unintelligible noises at each other. Shannon was on the phone with his brother, coincidentally having the same conversation.

When we're in a mellow mood like this, I like to make a game of running my fingers up her legs and body, touching her lightly on the cheek or chin, and running them back down - while making goofy sound effects that go with the movement. She always seems to like this because I'm rewarded with her huge, lopsided grin and some crazy gurgles, screeches and grunts.

Being a novice mom, I never knew that babies weren't born with the ability to smile socially or laugh - that these are developmental milestones that occur over time. That first smile, as any new parent will tell you, is a glorious sight. Thank goodness that it happens pretty early on - with the constant feedings and sleepless nights, you need some sort of reward to keep from locking yourself in the bathroom and cementing the door shut. MakandLeodiLiono.jpgIt takes longer for the laugh to happen. Which is why, as we were sitting on that red chair, I wasn't sure what that bizarre series of soft staccato grunts were. At first I thought she was trying to spit up, but then, it hit me hard: My kid is laughing! She's looking at mommy's face and having her first belly laugh.

In any other situation, someone looking me in the face and giggling madly might make me self-conscious. In this case, I felt a joy so piercing, it made my heart ache and brought tears to my eyes.

Now I know: The sweetest sound I will ever hear I heard last night. It was totally worth the wait.


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I am a writer and lazy artist who loves travel, architecture and design. Right now, I'm into photography. My fabulous husband (a.k.a. The Varmint) and I are also the principals of a San Diego-based creative agency - and new parents to the divine Baby Mak. Read More >