My fledgling

i sit on the grass this morning
my girl beside me looks up with nervous eyes
wondering if she can do this

i lie in bed one evening
my baby girl in my arms looks up with curious eyes
i wonder if i can do this

i hear her voice when she says she's nervous
she is next
we both know it's mostly excitement
she is ready

i hear his voice singing to her 
soothing her cries
she is only minutes old
are we ready

sitting in my lap, i feel the easy soft weight of her little brother
as he watches transfixed upon the scene before him
nothing distracting him from the wonder of this moment
when his sister will jump the log

sitting in the spring sun years ago 
i feel her hands on my skin
she declares i have a baby in my belly
even before i know it

the warmth of my husband's leg touches mine
i am relieved that the disagreement we had an hour ago has faded away
the irony of it while biking here
who is leading or following

the warmth of my husband's leg touches mine on the bed
i am trying to breastfeed my newborn
we are both shocked and overwhelmed
at what it takes in these early days
during round-the-clock vigils of feedings
simply to keep her alive
we constantly ask ourselves
who is leading or following

i am in two places at once
i comfort myself
i'm ready
it's okay to cry
huge swollen feelings fill my heart and my eyes
full of love for her and all she has accomplished in her little life

if i could have a turn
i would jump that log at the simple joy of her being alive
still here with us
thriving into such a big girl 
with that gorgeous toothless grin

her name means "small winged one"  
i often call her birdie
this is her day to take flight
taking all she has learned and grown into
she gathers it into one leap
one bound 

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