It’s the smallest in the house, well… it’s been every room in the house. Musical beds. Musical arms to hold them and snuggle blonde baby heads. Little darkening bobs have gone from honey and milk, to sweat and sand. Tears and the telltale scent of dirt underneath nails and embedded into knees that knelt and planted, buried and harvested. Fairy houses, wild flowers, strawberries, and morning glory all dug in deep to our untended earth with the same care and esteem.
But now, the smallest room in the house. Packed to the brim with the edge of childhood and Big Kid. Equal mess baby dolls and locked journals. A scattering of self-made posters and love notes. Pages of the classics; little house, Harriet the spy, Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, all nestled in and dog eared next to the candy level consumption books of Geronimo Stilton, neighbors on the shelf with new reader Bob Books, and self-published phonetically spelled creations. A perfect library of their growth.
I can’t bear to toss it. The rest of the house I keep bare, purging it all every chance I get. Looking for clean blank spaces and open walls. But here, I want to breath it in and consume every inch of their memory book of treasures. Rocks and leaves long crumpled. Heavy gems holding down flowers lovingly carried through Hawaii and back to our rainy old home across the water. Dried and curly, a memory of what we all look bak on as “was that trip a dream?”
Walking in as they sleep, the fan on quiet, their breath on loud. The room heavy with the scents of kid and a closed door between the awake house and the asleep dream land. Humid and warm, sweet and growing. A mingling of old and new. Old books, new plastic toys. Fresh pencils and old stuffed animals.
The girls are walking the line, toe stepping over the edge into adolescence each night as the sun dips and we talk, and talk, and talk. The darkness provides a safe blanket for us all to be a little braver in our words. Through the huge and new ideas they’re wrestling. Bullies, and what is ‘love and romance’. Through words read on newspapers. Through school shootings. Through racism. Through suicide. They’re synthesizing on a level I didn’t even touch till my mid 20’s. They’re brilliant. And childlike. And they feel the heaviness of responsibility and the lightness of your parents being infallible still. And I stand, arms out wide to hold them on the cliff’s edge and fall together. They’ve never clung tighter and I revel in the welcoming into new phases together.
In their room. We all grow up.