You may not remember this afternoon. We’re still ‘off the record’ as they say. But I write for our memories, the ones I could not bear to lose and the ones I want you to always have.
Memorial Day 2012. Hotter than late May should be but that seems to be the way of Memorial Day weekend lately. We’d just moved into our ‘new house’ and you loved it. You dealt with the moving and the packing and the upheaval with a grace well beyond your barely three years. I wish I had that grace.
Still, I felt we all needed some time to be quiet and just pause in the wake of the chaos. So I didn’t rush us out to the community pool first thing in the morning. I wanted to. I want to make a big deal of all holidays and do typical festive things—like go to the pool on Memorial Day weekend and welcome the summer as some of the first people to dip our toes in freshly opened pool. I want you to have these kinds of memories.
But, instead, we bought you a new inflatable pool—a bigger pool for our big girl in a bigger house with a bigger yard. We set it up and you patiently waited for the hose to fill it with water. And then, for the next hour, you played. You smiled. You laughed. You swam. You created hilarious little dances that culminated with you falling into the water, splashing water every which way and giggling uncontrollably. We filled buckets and watering cans and sprinkled each other with water. You practiced getting in and out of the pool without any help from me.
And I just watched you. I soaked up your joy. I relaxed in this moment of pure, simple fun.
When you tired of the pool, you stretched your towel out and laid down next to me. We gazed up at the sky and you talked about how many clouds we could see through the trees. You said they all looked like Cloudette and I couldn’t help but agree. We chatted in the way we do in these quiet moments—about the colors of our hair and eyes. We took turns pulling each other’s hair into our faces just so we could blow it away.
And then, you wrapped your arms around my neck. “Mommy, I love you.”
Oh, my girl, I love you more than you’ll ever know.
I try to plan so many big moments. I try to make every day special and holidays spectacular. Daddy and I dream up outings for every weekend – trips to the zoo or museums, parks or pools. We want you to have these memories.
But you are so expertly teaching us that the most special moments, the most amazing memories, happen in the quiet, unplanned hours when we put all else aside and just be with you.
All my love always,