My baby girl learned to clap her hands today. It seemed to come out of nowhere; although, I’m sure she had been soaking it all in and her little wheels had been turning and focusing on it for longer than I realize. I’m learning that’s generally how these things work. One morning she can’t roll over, and that afternoon she’s a rolling pro.
We were on our road trip to Grandma’s. RW would meet us there a day later, so it was just Harper and me. I was driving, singing along to Ray Lamontagne, feeling content and happy, watching the miles blur by. I was enjoying the silence. Harper had cried for almost the entire first hour of our trip, and finally, it seemed, had settled in and resigned to the monotony of the road. The hour of high anxiety and stress had melted into a sort of peaceful calm – the calm after the storm.
I imagined she would fall asleep. Surely she had worn herself out, right? I mean, crying for that long expends a lot of energy, doesn’t it? She seriously put all she had into that hour. Her dedication and endurance were impressive. She just had to be tired. I was sure a nap was just around the next corner. I knew I needed one.
I glanced back in the rearview mirror to see my baby. She looked at her mama in the backseat mirror and smiled. A sweet, wholehearted, toothy smile. A smile that erased all memory of the agonizing start to our trip. A smile that made me happy down to the bottom of my soul. And then, she clumsily put her two chubby little hands together, and she clapped.
It was as if she was celebrating. Celebrating finally being able to put it all together. Celebrating making the connection and showing her mama what she had been working on for so long. Celebrating being a sweet 9 month old little girl, looking at her mama in the rearview mirror, in the car on her way to Grandma’s house.