It’s always the little things that stay with you, even after the cowebbed years. My sister says she still remembers the weight of my children in her arms. The way someone always remembers how a full bucket
pulls the hands to the ground, after all day of carrying water from the well to the kitchen back and forth, back and forth, with the sun blazing above, summer heat eating the body from the outside in.
The kids were one month, and two years then. Shouldn’t there be another phrase other than the tired old, “How time flies!”? But I am a tired old woman who is running out of words in her mouth.
My daughter leaves for college in thirteen days.We are looking for a bike online. That’s what they do in California, I was told. Kids ride bikes on campus.
The door shuts softly, sectioning the past from the present. Wasn’t that yesterday I felt the soft onesies on her body? Do you need a new diaper? I asked her then, knowing full well she was not of age to know what a diaper was or to be concerned with wetness. I was told that’s how one learned languages. By imitating, she grew into her own person who is very much different from my own person.
I mostly remember her smell and the way sweat glistened on her little forehead. The soft perfect skin on her body, the tiny toes and fingers, the delightful squeals at the universe, which was between my kitchen and her bedroom.
My sister remembers the weight of her niece and nephew in her arms. Even after eighteen years, I carry their weight in my belly, and feel the invisible cord tightened between me and them , just for a moment, before it relaxes and slackens. Some ties are strong enough. They let go despite the inherent wanting to knot around and bind.