Have you a favorite food?  (She asks in a gramatically incorrect way ) My favorite treat is Enstrom's Chocolate. It is a bit pricey ( okay, a lot pricey when I am used to buying a .65 pack of Rolo's when I'm craving chocolate ) but totally worth the splurge once or twice a year.  We typically order some for our anniversary and, maybe, a small box at Easter but never more than that. We could order it more than that…we want to order it more often than that…but we enjoy the anticipation of the arrival at our door…because we order it sparingly it seems that much more special a treat. 

 I am greedy with delight when the box first arrives and each time we order I tell myself that I should splurge for Enstroms more often…I am worth a box on my birthday, for sure. I should probably order a box at Christmas-time and what about Mother's Day?  I carefully open the box and sniff as a puff of almond dust fills the air. (yes, I am odd) 

Each sliver of almond toffee lays in the box begging to be eaten…I scan the box for the smallest piece.  I search for the smallest triangle of toffee and congratulate myself for my self-control.  I tell myself that I will enjoy this piece for as long as possible…talk myself out of the gluttony that I feel coming on like a hot wave of embarassment.  Before I even place the chocolate in my mouth I can taste the salty/sweet deliciousness and already feel my willpower slipping away. I know that I should slowly enjoy this treat because of its rarity…but while chewing that first morsel my eyes are already scanning the box for the next acceptable piece…not too big…not too small. 

After a few bites I grudgingly place the box in the refrigerator. Pushing it way in the back so that I wont be tempted to dive into the box everytime I open the door…hoping that by not keeping it in sight I wont devour the entire pound ( or three ) too soon.  Each day that the box remains in the refrigerator is a testament to my willpower. Proof that I am worthy of the extravagant treat.

This rush of sensory-delight is exactly the way that I feel when my baby smiles at me.  Each day, when the very early morning light fills the room, and both Corrigan and I have rubbed the night's sleep from our eyes I sit with excited energy while feeding him a bottle. I know that once I lay him on the couch and peer over him he will make eye contact…his little legs and arms will pump with the effort of an imaginary race towards mama…his eyes wide with conversation…telling me so much without a word. His happiness at having a full tummy and an attentive mommy vibrates from his tiny body. 

I speak softly to him..telling him "good morning"…rubbing his tummy as I lean over, hair spilling down towards his cheeks, and he reaches up to grab a handful and pull me closer.  I wait and watch with strange anticipation as his little lips form large and small O's…as his tiny tongue swirls inside of his mouth and then it happens…all of his muscles come together and a lopsided smile suddenly breaks free…his head moves from side to side as he works his smile larger and larger…and he watches as mama's own smile explodes brightly and her eyes fill with tears of happiness.

There is no food on the planet…there is no gift that I could unwrap…that equals the unmitigated joy I receive when my baby smiles at me. A new box of Enstroms, every day for a week, would lose its luster but a million morning smiles will never wear out its welcome…that first daily glimpse of his innocent expression turns me into a babbling moron and teaches me that the very best things in life do not come from the UPS guy…but from a slobbering, wet-diapered, walrus-wrinkled little baby.

Aint life sweet?

http://www.enstrom.com/  (<—-go. buy. yummy.awesomeness.now. one for you…and…um….one for me…mkay?)

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