Things I do not want to forget

Easter morning.  Always, they are walking away.

The way Whit’s shoulder blades feel like little wings, jutting gently out of his back, with its clearly articulated string of pearls of a spine.

Grace kneeling on the floor by her orange-canopied American Girl doll bed, tucking Samantha and Julie into bed next to each other. The way she earnestly changes them into their pajamas before bed and back into clothes in the morning.

Reading picture books to Grace and Whit over breakfast in the morning, sitting between them at the little square kitchen table, the way just the offer of reading is able to defuse the rowdiest sibling argument.

Whit dragging a kitchen chair over to the island and standing on it, stirring a bowl of cookie or brownie batter. His careful cracking of eggs into the bowl.

The way Grace’s face lights up when I take the time to turn, look at her, and join her in singing along to a song on the radio.

The “ghostie dance” that Whit demands that I do every night, to make sure that no ghosts bother him while he’s sleeping. Similarly, the way my patented “sweet dreams head rub” can help either child back to sleep when nightmares wake them up.

The view from my office, the beloved square of the world that I gaze on for hours a day. Today the big tree across the street is covered in pale green blossoms, and casting faint shadows onto the slate mansard roof of the house across from us.

Hearing Grace and Whit talking to each other through the heating duct in the wall between their rooms. They figured out this was a way to communicate, an in-wall tin can telephone of sorts, and hearing them stage whisper to one another from their enforced personal “quiet time” makes me both laugh and cry.

The afternoons that we dance to Miley Cyrus in the kitchen, when I gave in to an all-too-rare giggle and abandon myself to the sheer joy that both Grace and Whit seem to inhabit hourly.

13 thoughts on “Things I do not want to forget”

  1. Yes, we all have these moments, unique to our own families, don’t we? Akin to your “ghostie dance,” we have a special “blow-the noises-away” kiss. How I wish it would work no matter how old my children get.

  2. I would say not only should you not forget the Miley dance parties, you should never give them up! Party in The U.S.A. is a rager, and I’ve spent some delicious evenings rocking out to Miley with my little cousins. Too precious. Who knew she was such a uniter?

  3. yes. I was just thinking I had better start writing down the things I don’t want to forget….

  4. Ahh, painfully beautiful. Thank you for sharing these moments in time with us.

    (The whispering through the heating vent is precious!!)

  5. I took a similar picture of my girls walking away this past weekend. The big girl holding the baby’s hand under huge live oak trees. You are so right- “Always, they are walking away.”

    I observe my children and the joy they experience. Those feelings, the laughter, the excitement, is so intense, undiluted by the consciousness adulthood brings. These are exquisite moments to be cherished.

  6. “When I gave in to an all-too-rare giggle and abandon myself…”

    Oh, I understand this. The mothering is too serious sometimes – they love the laughter so. Beautiful beautiful post…

  7. I love that in capturing these moments for yourself, you are memory-keeping for your kids as well.

    We don’t always remember these precious moments with such clarity. It would be lovely for them to read these when they’re older, and know that the little laughter here and the little kisses there that are echoing at the back of their minds are in fact real.

  8. It’s heartbreaking to me when I think of the things I know I’ve already forgotten. I want to remember every time my daughter made me laugh and every time my heart shattered into pieces at the intensity of my love for her. I love that you’re recording them here. I’ve been feeling the need to start writing more of them down – as a legacy. Thank you for sharing these beautiful moments.

  9. One year Andy wrote something she appreciated about each kid every day in a little book and at the end gave it to them. The other night I found the younger one, now thirteen, in bed with his little book reading it—your post made me feel that same way. The moments are so fleeting, but our kids really never stop being dear.

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