I find myself chronicling time from when Fin joined our family, really from the positive home pregnancy test. I suppose it has to do with that being the most recent milestone, but I imagine it being more because it was when the ribbon of our family met at each end. Our magnificent bow, complete with frills and knots and new whispers of color.

Lately our soundtrack, already pealing with laughter, exclaims and stampeding feet, has been peppered with a raspy new element.

I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said each hour brought new sounds, words. I’ve been listening, amazed by the explosiveness of it and finding myself more witness than participant. A few days ago I decided to engage, responding, sometimes with my best guess, other times with certainty thanks to dimpled elbows and pudgy fingers gesturing me along.

“You want some juice?”


“You want to read a book?”


“Oh, Finley, you need me to change your diaper?”


Fin, our sweet family, exclamation point. I know these “no’s” are yeses, said it with passion and twinkles, hands moving with Fosse-flair. And so I take the “no’s” and treat each as yes, bringing drinks that were declined, reading stories that weren’t requested.

But when I ask for kisses or swoop in for a cuddle I always find myself wrapped in yes. A cool, soft cheek against my own, a soft and steady pat upon my back, legs pressing at my side and the jut of a chin tapping repeatedly at my shoulder. A nodded yes.

My riddle solved.