When I am old and my children are grown, I might be sitting down in the evening and hear a sound that makes me spring up.
Which one was it? Who was that cry? Which one needs me?
And I’ll listen again and realise, there is no noise.
And I’ll ache for a small warm body to hold. Their little heads, the soft downy baby hair, or the mussy toddler mane. The tilted neck in the crook of my arm. The open mouth, the pink lips, the feeling of their breath on my skin. The light baby arm resting on my chest, or the heavier toddler arm wrapped around my neck pinning me to the bed. Stay here with me, you should stay here with me because you are my mummy.
I will think of the way I used to kiss their foreheads and nuzzle them as they fell asleep. I will think of whispered lullabies, of the peace bestowed in having me close.
I will think of how I used to look at them with a layered love, loving the future child emerging and the baby fading away just as much as I love the child before me, mesmerised by the impermanence of being.
One day, they will be memories, and they don’t even know it.