…where a brave and beautiful bunch gather every week to find out what comes out when we all spend five minutes writing on the same topic and then sharing ‘em over here.
Up on tip-toe I peek through the door’s small square of a window to see her tiny hands gripped around Amanda’s fingers as she takes first one step, than two, than another. As I let out a small whoop of joy she looks up to lock our matching blue eyes and drop to the ground for a hurried crawl to me.
This first year is drawing to a close too fast and yet just in time to save my tired sanity. I think back to a year ago and the quiet pushes on my belly as I lay on my side each evening. I draw up the fuzzy black and white images where her hands repeatedly covered her face as we peered at the ultrasound screen in the last weeks of her life on the inside. Each night I lay her down on the soft fleece of her plummy-purple blanket for sleep and she automatically draws those now chubby hands up in a motor memory of habit.
My last baby. My step into motherhood of children not babies. Her sunny disposition fools me momentarily into an evolutionary longing to do it again, and yet the trio they form seems just right as they reach and tumble and giggle together through the days. The wild rumpus of their sisterly bickering and rascaling and hollering reminds me that I’m stretched to capacity, maybe not too far, but definitely edging that wall as I crawl into bed each night remembering my mistakes for the day telling myself I’ll do better tomorrow.
The next morning, every morning really, I wake to caffeinate with hopes of seeing the bottom of my cup before the top of their heads. Sipping the milky fix, I click through my files, remembering their swinging and running and baking for just a moment before I hear the quiet chant of “My momma” start the day down the hall. First one, than the others padding of a sleepy-eyed following. I judge their moods, ask after their dreams and begin the daily hunt for a drop of yellow somewhere in the 4-year-old’s clothes that will meet with her approval and allow us to begin again.