A blueberry bagel for you, Bluberri.
The long dress and its navy stripes and the picture I have of us in it.
Hearts, so many of them this week. I’ve found them all, I promise.
Your sisters in the morning. H. drawing chalk lines on the deck. V., here with your toes.
The heart books H. chooses to read over these days when its somehow possible to miss you even more… Now, as I close the door to her room we say to each other: “I carry you in my heart.” One day I will tell her and V. that I carry their brother, too. I carried him first.
Piling into the car and driving to the nursery we visited last year on this day so H. could find the coy fish and the lilies. I turn off her music, find my own, and let it spill. I listen again and again:
Do you like walking in the rain?
When you think of love, do you think of pain?
You can tell me what you see
I will choose what I believeHold on, darling
This body is yours,
This body is yours and mine
H. exploring, her red backpack on for our big adventure. She peers over the concrete shelf and splashes at the lily pads. We find the small fish and then she goes looking for their mommies and their daddies, the bigger fish. V. sleeps in the stroller and H. holds my hand and I steer my brood through a tradition in a place where we haven’t lived for all that long. After lunch, we plant the rainbow pinwheel H. picked out in the herb pot on the deck and draw hearts.
And after dark, the girls asleep, Ryan and I light the heart sparkler. There are drops, full but spaced apart, that fall on my bare shoulders. It’s almost rain.
The next day your littlest sister has her first round of vaccines. The temporary pain in her cries reminds of the deeper, enduring pain we didn’t ask of you. As we wait for the doctor, I fill out the form that screens for postpartum depression since, our doctor tells us, 75 percent of new mothers will experience some form of it during their baby’s first year. I wonder why I wasn’t screened after I had babies I couldn’t take home; only after I had babies I could. Nevertheless, I answer questions along the lines of:
Are you able to laugh at things just as much as before, not quite as much as before or not at all as much as before?
Before what, exactly? I want to ask.
Later in the day, I take your first little sister out for a walk with Ruby and inside the span of half a block, this happens. You heard the questions about walking in the rain, about laughing, and you answered for your mama. Thank you, Lorenzo.