Then I’d start a countdown, and after “1” go “Lift off!” and raise you superquick high into the air then hold you over my head so you were flying like Superman. You’d break into a giggle as your flabby tummy pressed against my palms and would start moving your arms and legs like you were swimming. I’d shift you around from side to side, going, “Quick, fast, zoom, we’re on our way to the moon!” and the scent of baby powder would waft down toward me on the currents of air created by the motion.
After we’d done that a few times, whenever we got to “3” in the countdown, you’d ball up your tiny fists, close your eyes tight, and tense up, as if to ward off the sudden stomach-in-my-throat feeling you must have got from liftoff. But you always giggled with glee once I got you above my head.