Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy heart's day

For the past few days, Jimmy has been a whirling dervish of construction paper hearts, decorated extravagantly with flowers, bugs, butterflies, and handwritten notes. He hid them up in his room and warned me sternly not to try and find them. First thing this morning, though, he burst into my room and presented me with a handful of hearts that read "4 Mom" and "I love you Mom!"

No one can love like a six-year old.

Tonight as I was getting Audrey ready for bed, I was entertained that, on her own, she chose pink pajamas with hearts all over. And suddenly, in my mind, a poem started to come. It's terribly rough and sappy, but a valentine of sorts to my children, whom I cherish dearly (be they ever so squirrely!)

***

Good Night

We have this ritual, you and I
I offer you plain pink pajamas
(which you refuse)
then a second pair, pink with monkeys
(also refused)
then you spy instead
some in the drawer and those
(multi-colored hearts on pink)
are the ones you wear

We move to the bathroom
and I ask if you want
the toothbrush with kitties on it, or
the one with a handle shaped like a row of ducks
duckies, you say
and the toothpaste with bears on the tube
first you brush
and then, handing the brush to me
you turn your small face upward
opening your mouth
so trusting
and it is my turn
to finish brushing your small, straight teeth

Back in the bedroom
we sit on the cherry rocker
you on my lap
looking at picture books
while I run a comb through the stubborn snarls
in your too-long hair
I should trim it, I know
but I’m in love with the way
the ends curl around my fingers
and I know they will stay straight forever
once they are cut

From the shelf you choose a story
then climb back onto my lap
curling yourself into my chest
I rest my chin on your head
your hair smooth against my throat
I read about bees or bunnies
or green dogs driving yellow cars
while you turn the pages

And then it’s prayers
light’s out
a song
a kiss
tucking your blankets around you just so

Good night, little one
for when you wake up
when I wake up
you won’t be a baby
my baby
any more.

3 comments:

aubrey said...

oh i heart this. and actually wrote something vaguely similar that i was going to post tonight. now i'm feeling less than worthy in comparison to your sweet words. so visual and sweet.

chicklegirl said...

Oh, Aubrey, please post yours! I love your poems, which you post (IMO) far too seldom.

Pretty please?

Dyann said...

Oh, my heart is sighing. I love it.