Tuesday, 8 October 2013
Feel the Love
You may have oft read my stories in which I share a little about my niece. Kiki turns Five this month! #Getouttatownandtakeabus! I pause at that because, well, the time has passed by so quickly. Isn't that something? I'm not sure what, exactly, but, it's...something. And, because turning Five is, as she would say, "a big deal, actually!" I'd like to do this month's posts in recognition of her; in celebration of her life and the joy she brings. And the trip she is! Oh, and, "actually," is her latest flavour-of-the-month. "Actually, Auntie, it's like this..." or "That's what I was thinking, actually." She finishes that off with raising her eyebrows and nodding her head. Actually.
One of my favourite recollections is of that afternoon when she was egging herself on to get into the car without help. Her little chant to her two-year-old self, "Go, Kiki! Go!" took on a life of its own in our family. I shared it in a blog and in other spaces as well. It was, and still is, truly inspiring.
Two Christmases ago, we'd all got together to have dinner at my home. We had earlier carried out the great tradition of baking a few Jamaican Christmas fruit cakes. Kiki was in the middle of the preparation. Her dad lifted her up to help pour the fruits in the blender; she helped to lick the bowls - a sub-tradition in the great tradition - and, she later was, understandably, very eager for the cakes to be done. Over and over, she asked for the oven light to be switched on so she could peek in. I think we simply kept it on, after a while.
The plan was to have dinner then have the cake for dessert - of course. We took turns explaining the sequence of events. She appeared to have understood. As soon as we cleared the table, she was back at it. "Can we please taste the cake?" We tried again. This time, we explained that, as we had just finished dinner, we'd wait just a bit for dessert. To this, Kiki took centre stage in the living room and, in her assertive tone, replied, "If we don't taste the cake, we're not going to be able to taste the cake!"
We got it. We got it. Funny how some of life's clearest answers can come from the mouths of...toddlers. Whenever we recall that afternoon, her declaration still causes us to nod our heads in agreement. It's true. "If we don't taste the cake, we're not going to be able to taste the cake!"
On another occasion, shortly after she had begun learning to identify letters of the alphabet, she came home from school and was recounting the highlight of that day. As her mom told me, the conversation went something like:
"So, daddy, Meghan and me were at the slide - "
"Meghan and I."
"Meghan and I? But daddy, I am not a letter!?"
That one still cracks me up!
A few weeks ago, her mom and I (umm, let's move on) took her and her little brother out for the evening. At some point, as we sat next to each other, she reached over for my hand, and gently kissed my palm. Then, in fluid movement, she lifted my palm, held it against my cheek and, in a soft tone, she went, "Feel the love, Auntie. Feel the love." Of course, she held out the "looove." Lol! I was so touched. And, proud of her. She had come up with this show of affection all on her own and it was something that could be our thing. You know, like the fingers-down-face in Face Off but without, well, the face off? It was beautiful. Next, she had me kiss her palm before she placed it against her cheek. It was my turn, "Feel the love, Kiki. Feel the love."
She is a joy to be around. We are blessed to have her in our lives. And, yes, we're feeling her love. Pretty sure she's feeling our love, too.