“I yuv you, Mommy,” she says and rubs my arm with her little and warm hand. Her hair smells like her lavender shampoo and her cheek is slightly sticky from her morning waffle.
She’s real. She’s flesh and blood and bones and thoughts and emotions and she’s mine. She’s in my lap and I hold her.
Her brother drags himself on his stomach over to where we sit, gurgling and squealing and happy that we’re on his level. He reaches my knee and starts to pull himself up, head-butting me in his own little unusual way of affection.
Sometimes it still comes as a shock to me that I am a parent, that I have children that are my own, that Jeff and I created two whole people. It still overwhelms me how powerful the love I feel for them is. I say a prayer thanking the Lord for her, for him. How precious they are. Not the precious used to describe lap dogs, but the precious that describes them. Rare. Delicate. Dear to my heart. The most amazing gift I could ever hope for.
I think, how did I get here, what did I do to deserve this? Sitting on the floor with two tiny children crawling all over me, competing with each other for my arms. Clutching on to my neck like monkeys. Or the first sight I see in the mornings, Faith running into my room, standing next to my bed, already asking questions or preferably, crawling in next to me and sharing my pillow.
I worry, what happens when they grow up? When they will inevitably want nothing to do with me? So I hold them a little tighter and try to freeze this moment and sear the image into my mind to last forever.