While I’m brushing Hadley’s hair this morning, she tells me, “A voice is not a noun. It is not something that I can touch.”
I brush the front of her hair up into an elastic and tie a bow around it and she moves with my brushing so that her head touches my belly.
“Do you think a voice can touch you?” she asks me.
I run my hands down her hair and pinch her cheeks like I always do because I can’t resist those cheeks.
“You know the story about the day you were born, right?”
“That I was a big baby? And the doctor said, ‘WOAH,’ when I was born?”
“Well, yes, but not that part. The part when Daddy said your name for the first time. You were crying and crying as the nurses cleaned you off and daddy walked to where you were and said, ‘It’s OK, Hadley. Daddy’s here.’” I catch my breath because even though it happened almost seven years ago, the moment is still palpable.
“And you stopped crying,” I say.
“Yes.” She and I are talking to our reflections in the mirror.
“Do you want to know why I think you stopped crying?” I ask her.
“I think it’s because you knew his voice. I think you knew it when you were growing in my tummy. I think his voice touched you.” My hands cup her shoulders and I give her a little squeeze.
“So voice is a noun?” Hadley asks and her forehead crinkles.
“Yes, I think so.”