Eternity is a frail man's faith
Chalked on a footpath,
Trodden but not erased.
I don't remember the last story we read together on rumpled covers in the last stolen hours of a lost night. Little blonde heads, uncombed and indescribably precious...I can almost feel them against my shoulders on this night of wishes, reaching and stretching vapor fingers back to smooth a curl just once more.
I don't remember why there was a last night for stories and how we ever stopped visiting our friends in the garden of Segowlee, along the banks of the great grey-green greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever trees, sailing back from the place where the wild things are, missing one last good night to a patient moon.
Two sleepy, soap-scented girls jockeying for the best spot, poking one another to make me fuss, and catching any hint of a skipped word or hastily turned page, like Rikki Tikki himself, ready for battle, whispering along, favorite lines sparking across my cheeks, fable-flavored spells from the alchemy of mischief and earnest, well-scrubbed little faces not yet ready to sleep.
Every drop of yesterday and today has been cherished. Tomorrow has already begun to hum a catchy tune I can almost dance to. So many "lasts", though, to slow me down, and God, I need to slow it all down for a moment, to remember and ache a while, to be the ghost of my own halls tonight, one last story...this one just for me, not yet ready to sleep in the stolen hours between here and there.
That's beautiful, Joli. I always say that being a parent is a bittersweet thing. I'm so excited to see what my daughter does, who she becomes, as she grows, but it's so hard to let go of the years, the cheeks round with baby fat, the hair so soft and downy it never stayed put, the eyes so round and innocent, the body that was still tiny enough to pack. :( I wanted to snort when I was told (so many times), "Cherish it while you can. It will go fast." I felt that having my memories would be enough, but it's not enough. It has to be, though.
Those moments pass, and can be forever cherished. But as they become adults; their own person in a very real way, they continue to give you new moments to cherish.