We are entering our fourth week of Immy's school holidays. I've watched her uncoil as the days have unfolded: slow rhythms, no routines, late bedtimes and leisurely mornings. As I sit here typing this, her sleeping inhale/exhale winds it's way through my veins, wrapping wispy arms around my heart. I wish life could be like this, always.

The edge of September. Deep breath in before freewheeling all the way down, faster and faster, to all the million and one things that need to happen before the end of the year. This year it's exponentially worse because work is crazy, I have a constant gnawing pain in my guts, and it feels like my baby is sprouting, growing, reaching for the the sun when her mama used to be the moon and the stars and that's all she ever wanted. So when she asks me if I'll sing her a lullaby (it's always Morningtown Ride because it's so long mama), I sing it as soft and slow as I can. When we read, and she begs 'just two more pages', I turn and turn and turn the page again, because how much longer will it last? Candlelit baths, and baking, and her enthusiasm for helping with the dishes. A thousand pictures of me, drawn with love. Holding hands while she falls asleep, and her dreamy whisper when I get up to leave her bed: I love you mama. Sweet dreams...

She spent some time in Knysna with my folks and my brother. I joined her about a week later, noticing everything about her as if for the first time. Reminded by every smile, every gesture, how much I like her and how I had missed her.

The Cinderella dress. When she wears it, she transforms into a gentle Disney princess, all low curtsies and soft smelling of flowers. My dad kissed her extended hand a zillion times, and my mom and I were lucky enough to be deputised as footman whenever we went somewhere in the car.

The rest of the time? All mismatched outfits, dirty feet, climbing, jumping, exploring, absorbing the world around her.

The best gift each morning, a shy morning mama, sleepy smile, tangled hair.  My days coloured by dirty feet, chipped nail polish, dimples, crusty fake tattoos. Sticky fingers on the remote, tears, fighting, kissing and making up. She has to jump up now for me to carry her. Impossible to think that I used to rock her for hours on end, her tiny 3kg body weighing nothing but breathing more life into me than I had ever known was possible.

Tonight feels like summer, but it smells like spring. I can hear the frogs through my open windows. Immy is restless, talking in her sleep, tossing and turning, while the cat sleeps soundly on in our quiet corner of the world.  Another day filed under memory.

A new one waiting in the wings.


Melanie said…
Beautiful post and photos! :-)