I lie here, nursing Roo down to sleep.
7.22pm is my favourite time of the day when I can almost smell the dusk, when daylight melts into darkness and everything feels soft, somehow.
It’s a time to Reflect, after a day of Doing.
My mind is awhirl with sensations, sounds. Running helter-skelter at the park in the evening, full tummies after dinner, Roo’s tender head now nestled in the crook of my arm, Puppy’s piano practice, the sound of boys getting into PJs and rolling toy cars on the parquet.
7.33pm, Roo is asleep. I peek out, hush the older kids. Across the landing, they all look nice and clean and happy, getting cosy with books in the warm lamplight.
I head for the shower but Roo startles and struggles to sit up.
I get down, with her, again.
But I want to remember, even this. This day in day out, this winding down.
8.00pm, it’s late and we finally get on to teeth brushing and devotions. Lamb’s baby tooth that’s been dangling today goes down the sink with his final gargle and he’s almost in tears. We both peer into the sink, wishing it would fly up somehow but it’s a goner.
This second tooth, lost in a matter of seconds.
I wish I’d taken a photo of him rolling and twisting it around in his mouth after school earlier today. A moment that passed so quickly in the midst of lunch with four kids.
Puppy and Lamb settle themselves in their beds while Piglet and I find a space on the floor. Piglet comforts Lamb with all the wisdom of his three-and-a-half years. “Don’t wowwy, a new one will grow back?” We chip in with stories of our own, of missing teeth and incomplete tooth collections.
I sit cross-legged and listen to the exchange, feeling the comfort of the inner circle. We read, talk, pray.
Thank You God I have these moments to remember.
I wonder, what will they remember?
8.45pm. Back in our room, Piglet’s the last kid to fall asleep and I’m ready.
Pages open. My pen flows.
Pouring them out, memories still fresh in my mind, things I wanted to say in the day but overtaken by practicalities.
They’ll read these journals someday, one journal for each child, and I hope my words will remind them of the legacy we’re writing, now, with our lives. Of what we do, why we do, the heartaches and funnies and all sorts in between.
Because Roo’s little feet will outgrow my palm all too soon. Tonight, I can almost hear her whisper.
Take the time, mama. Help me remember.