I chased them upstairs with them begging me “get our butts!” I jumped on the bed where they thought they were safe and I tickeled them wildly and kissed them all over. They screamed in delight and laughed hysterically as I asked them “who do you love?” They got the breath to say “you, mom” and then begged for more. I watched them as they stood in the bathroom and brushed their teeth. Maria in her orange tank top nightie with her fuzzy peace-symbol pants and Mario in only his boxers – just like his dad. Ri caught me looking at her and kicked her foot out in a karate move. She stumbled, and leaned forward laughing at her antics. Mario did his crazy hip thrust dance move while keeping his toothbrush steady in his mouth and waited to see the smile on my face. It makes him happy. I stood in the hallway and let everything about them absorb into me. Maria’s piercing eyes; Mario’s taut little torso; Maria’s extreme joy in herself; Mario’s love for comedy; Maria’s beauty; Mario’s handsomeness. For those precious moments, I was lost in unadulterated love. My heart was floating and happy. I had dropped everything else – laundry, dishes, work emails – and lived in the those delightful moments with my two little beings who will soon be grown and out of their nighties.
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” – Henry David Thoreau
Ri and Mario – ages 4 and 2