It’s early morning. Not early enough for your mother to be sleeping, as she is in the shower, but early enough for us not to have to rush to get ready yet. Your mother has placed both of you in my arms and I watch as you two interact with each other. Swee’Pea, you are mesmerized by your brother and you watch his every move. TheMonk, you are eager to take in the early-morning surroundings and seem oblivious to your sister’s attention. Somewhere between you shifting your body around to get a better view of the loft and trying to take Swee’Pea’s binky from her mouth, she reaches out and gives you a kiss on the head. You don’t see her do this, but I do. My heart swells with pride and love as I catch a glimpse into the future. My biggest hope is that you two will always be there for each other. That hugs and kisses never become old and that when you think of best friends, you will always think of each other.
I tell you this as you lay in my arms. TheMonk, you hear my voice, and you turn and look up at me with your big brown eyes contrasting with the bright blue of your binky. You smile as we make eye contact and I reach down to give you a kiss. You spit out your binky and reach out to me. It is evident you want to give me a kiss too. I hold you closer and bring your face to mine. Your loud breaths get louder as you open your mouth like a large-mouth bass and plant a TheMonk special right onto my cheek. I feel the tiny suction as you pull away and I give you a quick kiss on your cheek. You giggle from the scratchiness of my not-yet-shaven face.
Next, I turn to Swee’Pea and offer you my cheek. You suddenly grab my face with both of your tiny little hands and yell loudly “Aaaah-Yaaah-Aaaaa!” as you plant a big kiss on my other cheek. Once done, you seem proud of yourself and we sit there in silence for a little while. We sit in silence because I don’t know what to say. How do I say to 9-month-old babies that you are the most incredible gift I could hope for? How do I tell you that my love for you is unconditional? How do I tell you that I will always try to do what’s best for you? How do I tell you that at 34 years of age, for the first time I truly feel complete? I can’t tell you all of that because that’s a lot for 9-month-old to digest. So, instead I just lay there watching you be you. Smiling at you every time you glance at me for reassurance. The collective warmth from our bodies has made a cozy little cocoon in this chilly spring morning and I imagine, as I lean down to kiss the tops of your wonderfully-smelling heads, that this must be what heaven is like.