I see you there with your cheeks pink as the star-kissed sunrise, eyes wide in holy amazement at the miracle of today, blonde curls spilling over your damp forehead as your popsicle melts idly onto your already sticky and slick hands. Stay right there — I want to hold this image forever.
I see you in your pink ballet slippers hoping you don’t mess up this — your very first performance, as you curtsey to your daddy and me sitting right here on the couch. Your little mouth pursed with the effort of the memory, you don’t know yet that nothing could keep us from thinking that you are wonderful, perfect performance or no.
I see you, little toy soldier, holding your popgun like your daddy taught you to, as you wade through the underbrush of our back yard, knowing that your enemy is all around you — knowing that you’re enemies could never touch you here. You are so brave, little fighter, come on in for dinner.
I see my soul in you — little ones — so wide eyed and delighted as we drop cookies onto the pan together, I bet you didn’t know we’re already working on chemistry right here with this deliciousness — you are so smart already, and you don’t even know what that word means yet.
I can see you, little packs on your back as daddy and I take you up big hills. holding onto the hiking stick I know you’ll pick up (you are mine). I know that they are long and winding paths, but trust us, when we make camp you’ll find a world you wont believe, and the hill will be easier next time.
I see you gazing out to sea, it’s like no river you’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to take you to show you the sights and let you feel the relief of knowing you are but small in a very big world, but you are everything to two people I know.
I can see you looking up at the sky from the soft blanket we’ve laid on the back lawn — your face lit up by the moon, I will show you the stars and tell you what to call them. I can hear you repeating the words back to me and it’s ok if you forget every single one — I’ll show you again if you want.
Little one, I cant wait to bring you seeds and a watering pail and watch you nourish your green thumb — it’s ok if they all die right away, we can always find more. If they grow I will name them for you and tell you what they mean. Lets cultivate this language.
I can see you pouring over a book in that corner where nobody bugs you, I’ll bring you all of the tea you want, everyone deserves this place, don’t worry, I’ll keep the others away.
There is nothing you can do — or not do — that could take my heart from you. So don’t be afraid to fail. You can do no such thing in my eyes.
PSA: I am not growing anyone at all inside of me.