a year later

DenaAugust 17, 2022

Here we are, a year later. Like most people who meet them, I am obsessed with their cheeks–soft and full and perfect. I cannot count how many times I have kissed those little cheeks, at least 30 times a day, every day, if I had to guess. I simply cannot get enough of them. They tolerate my affections, one more so than the other. One has a calmer disposition and one always wants to be moving. But they both have their moments of stillness, when their tired little bodies fold into mine. And we hum together, and that is how we all know that it is time to settle down.

Thinking about this, writing it down, brings tears to my eyes–because it is something that I cherish so dearly, it sends waves of joy and gratitude and fear through my body. The joy and the gratitude, obvious reactions, but the fear… perhaps the telltale-markings of an anxious mother, one who despite all of her efforts and tools, still worries about things like loss and how quickly it can all be taken away. And one who, too, has a 9-year-old boy whom it often feels like just yesterday that she was holding his little body against hers and kissing his soft, full cheeks. But now he is 9-years-old, on the very cusp of a decade–so that even when things remain, by the grace of God, they still change, and keep changing if we are very lucky. But we cannot grasp it, we cannot stop it, it is fleeting. I know this, and this is why the tears come.

But here we are, a year later, they are playing in the little pool that I bought for their birthday party. They are splashing and watching their older siblings run through the sprinkler. A year has passed since I carried the heavy weight of them in my belly. If I close my eyes, I can still remember the enormity of that weight, the pulling and the pressure. I can remember how I kept thinking, “How can a body withstand this? How can a body withstand this?” But I kept going, as one does. Now a year has passed, and I have found one thousand other ways to carry them. What luck, that I have been strong enough to carry them.

Comments (1)

  • Anonymous

    August 19, 2022 at 11:48 am

    Just love these guys!

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