Today, your dad was getting ready to take you to the park, and I was staying behind to get ready for work.
I said as much to you, and contrary to the past when you really wouldn’t get it until you were halfway out the door, today you understood.
Mommy going to work.
You climbed up in my arms and let me hold you, gently rocking back and forth for so long, both of us just being quiet.
I know I’m not going to see you a lot this week. Your dad is going to put you to bed most nights. I’m already mourning the separation.
I suddenly remembered the news article about the volcano in Yellowstone that erupts every 600,000 years, and — naturally — it’s been 600,000 years since the last time, and the thing could blow at any minute and “end humanity” (their words, not mine).
What if this is the last time I hold her? I thought. What if that volcano blows today and this it it?
(I’m pretty sure that’s not how volcanoes work, but I have, since early childhood, often been stressed that the time I’m saying goodbye in could be the last time.)
I smelled your hair and felt your weight on me, your little hand gripping my shirt and the soft rising and falling of your breath. I felt the naturalness of us being fused together like that; you came from me, after all.
C noticed I was crying and said, “Aww, babe.”
You seemed to understand today, and let me hold you for a good two minutes.
And when you, grinning, pushing the limits of my kindness, asked me for the thing you know you’re not supposed to ask for, I didn’t even say no.