Lisa pressed in to nuzzle the space just under Sojourner’s chin as the two sat down in Grandpa’s large, gold recliner. Still, the room was totally silent, all the adults afraid to make a sound, especially Sojourner who gently stroked Little Miss Diddle-Diddle’s back. Finally Grandma took up the conversation where she had left off and it appeared as though things would just resume as before the appearance of the star of the weekend. Everyone relaxed as Lisa relaxed. It was a short-lived, but oh-so-sweet, pause, however. The first word out of Sojourner’s mouth caused the toddler to stiffen in the arms that held her. Her body went rigid as the beautiful little face glanced ever-so-slightly up at the place from where the sound had just come, above her head. The horror was not apparent in her face but her every action registered the anguish at having made such a mistake. Head quickly turning to the pressed-in, tiny nose smashed against the chest position, Lisa slowly, deliberately began to move. Out stretched the delicate little arms to feel the area just on either side of her head, palms flat against Sojourner’s upper chest. Legs that had been peacefully resting in the adult lap slowly began their move to align themselves with the arms. The toddler’s waist twisted to allow her knees to be braced against Sojourner’s abdomen. Cautiously, Little Miss Diddle-Diddle pushed her right palm and right knee, simultaneously, against the stranger’s body. Then the left palm and left knee dug in and pushed, inch-by-inch until she had slid herself down and off the human mountain that had looked so much like Mommy.
Once free of Auntie Sojourner’s lap, however, Lisa had not a clue what to do. It was the most pitiful sight, really…. the precious little girl, head still looking down at her feet, frozen stiff before the seated adults, was most likely asking herself “Where is Mommy to rescue me?” None of the adults knew what to do either, as a matter of fact. Then the sound that provided the wonderful relief more pronounced than any Alka-Selzer moment, the opening of the front door! All of us hearkened an ear to the next beautiful words.
“Hello? Anybody here?” Well, all of those seated jumped up with joy but it was little Lisa’s feet that made it to the front door before anyone else! Now that was the voice of her Mommy! Regardless of how closely the body of her auntie had resembled her Mommy from the height of a fourteen-month-old, no one could match that voice! This was the real deal! Lisa threw her arms up and her face glowed with that recognition as Mommy picked her up to “deliver” the frightened little one from her fears.
****Recognize the Voice?... Coming Tomorrow