To my children,
I won’t remember every detail of your life.
I can’t recall what day you walked or how many teeth you had at seven months.
But I will never forget the moments; they will stay with me crisp and clean like a stark fall day.
Daddy and I bringing home each of you. Slowly, magically, completing our family.
I’ll remember the feel of your breath on my face and the sweet hum of your snore as you drifted off to sleep. Your soft, chubby hand resting gently on my cheek.
Your excitement in realizing that all three of you have the same toes.
The incessant, yet strangely comforting sound-machine wails that cascaded from under closed bedroom doors. Not crickets, or white noise, but shrill computerized tones chosen special by each of you. Turned all the way up to eleven.
The searing pain of a Barbie hand jammed into my foot in the darkness of night, whilst stumbling to the kitchen to get water.
The pecked curiosity that led you to begin each sentence with, “Why?”
The summers of Popsicle eclipsed chins, golden brown shoulders adorned with freckles, and battles with the garden hose.
The fights. The smack of little hands against each other, the screams of anger at the discovery that people don’t always do what you want. And the apologies. Chins tucked in, words muttered, hugs given.
The way each of you said “Mama” the first time. Every time. My heart simultaneously stopped beating and also exploded.
The tracks of training wheel skid-marks left drawn across our patio, powdering the cement with trails of black dust.
The soundtrack that I will hear in my dreams for years to come– the music that I will relate with my greatest happiness in life– is the sound of your laughter. Deep, luscious, belly laughs that contain a whole body’s worth of glee. How it pushed out of you like air rushing from a balloon. Unbridled.
I carry these memories with me like an invisible locket. They are tenderly enclosed around my neck, and all I have to do is pull apart the clasp just a little and they come flooding out, instantly transporting me back. Back to a time of simpleness.
To a time when we were the only things that existed in the world.