highlight of infancy

     The highlight of infancy for me as a mother is this: the baby has been exploring her environment with insatiable curiosity.  She has grasped, dropped, reclaimed, sucked on and slobbered all over every single object she can find.  She moves from one to the next, downloading massive amounts of information about the the stuff that makes up her world.  Eventually, she starts rubbing her eyes, and I see she is ready for a nap.  I let her explore another minute or two, just to burn off any last energy that might be lingering.
    Then, before she melts down, I swoop her up, tell her gently that it is time for a rest.  I swaddle her and nurse her.
     The part I love is that she instantly shuts her eyes, cuddles up and starts nursing.  She assumes this reclined posture, her little active hands now wrapped to her sides, and her face displays a sleepy, trusting contentment.  Five heavy consecutive breaths from her, and I know she will transfer to the crib without a protest.  She clings to sleep with affection, and she has let me help her find it.