Each morning around 7, the soft sparrow trills and pterodactyl grunts that make up Maggie’s repertoire waft gently from the monitor, and I set aside my coffee, or peel the comforter back, and walk to her room. The moment I open her door is the best of the day, every day, the kind of moment that verifies all the gooey cliches about parenting.

I stand above Maggie Rose, lying flat in her crib, and soak up the beaming grin, the gurgles and coos that clearly state a love for me unlike any other I’ve ever received. I’ve been lucky enough to have experienced good love throughout my life, but I know the only comparison is the love my own parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents showered down on me as I lay on my back, in my own crib.

I think of the men and women in my life who long, or longed, for children of their own and my heart breaks a little, and I will the cracks to open so that I might receive even more love from Maggie, so that I am able to better share her love and soothe those hurts.

I know the moment cannot last, that it will dissolve as Maggie and I navigate the putting-on-shoes, eating-peas, and daycare-at-the-gym aspects of the day, that her joy will dim with the lengthening of the shadows, that my patience will wane.

And so I resolve to capture this moment with all the inadequate beauty of the English language, so that I may at least remember it long after the crib sheets are folded for the last time.

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