Dear Nia,

I wonder if you know that you break my heart into a million pieces everyday just with that little pointer finger.

You point at everything, and sometimes all at the same time saying, “what’s that?” (at least that’s what we think you’re saying).  You point at the pictures of yourself on the refrigerator (what’s that?), you point at the pictures on the wall (what’s that?), you point to the corner of the ceiling, at the windows, at the baby food I missed when wiping off your high chair tray (what’s that? what’s that? what’s that?).  You are curious about everything, as if you just now opened your beautiful eyes and took a look around.  And when your father asks you, “Nia, where’s Mommy?”  I wait for you to point at me and smile…and then you turn and point to the picture of me on the wall instead.  You are incredible.

Last week you started to wave, clap your hands, and give kisses all at the same time.  It was like you saved up for months and months and all of a sudden you were getting your skills together for your resume, and you were ready to impress.  Well, you got the job, Baby.  I was laying on the floor playing with you and you inched your chubby little face over to mine and looked me in the eye like you just now realized that we were in love…and then you leaned over and gave me a big, slobbery, baby kiss right on the mouth.  It was such an affectionate and deliberate gesture for such a little person that it took me by surprise and I started to cry.  But you just head-butted me and inched along your merry way as if to say, “I love you Mom, but now I have to go” and it made me so sad, and yet so proud to be your mother.

Tonight I gave you a bottle and then we stood to say your prayers.  I started doing this with you a few weeks ago, and every time you have gotten excited and squealed because you are really into babies and you like to look at the icon of baby Jesus.  But usually, that is the extent of it, so I kiss the icons to show you what to do and then it’s Good Night.  But tonight, as we were saying the Lord’s Prayer, you knew what was coming, and before I could get to the end of the prayer, that adorable pointer finger of yours was pointing to the icon of Jesus.  I brought it down off the shelf as I was finishing the prayer, and I held it up to your face…and you bent your sweet little head down…and kissed it.

And then a million more pieces of my heart just fell right onto the floor.