A little girl, fresh from the bath. Wet hair. The smell of baby shampoo, toothpaste and clean jammies. Storytime.
Memories of my own children rise in my mind as I take Jet onto my lap. I remember reading stories to two wet-haired girls in this same room in this same spot on the couch before bedtime each night. So many years ago. Yet, somehow, only yesterday. The scent and feel of this little girl takes me back in time with incredible sharpness.
Jet snuggles into the crook of my arm, her muscles relaxed. Her eyes show that she will sleep easily tonight at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. “Papa” sits on her other side. I read the first story. She wants Grandpa to read the next. She changes laps. Her Grandpa and I exchange a knowing smile. Jet likes to share her love, making sure we each have a turn.
Grandpa carries her to bed, but I follow closely behind. Jet clutches her blanket, her stuffed toy and a teething ring. She takes a hug and a kiss from both of us, and stretches out on the bed without prompting, ready for sleep. I tell her I will see her when she wakes, and gently close the door. I wait in the hallway for just a minute, but she doesn’t fuss or even whimper. “We do so love that little girl,” I tell my husband.