It’s two in the morning when you wake me up, but that’s okay because there’s fog outside instead of snow. But even if it was cold, I’d sit with you. I’d stay up and lean my head against the upper bunk, but I won’t fall asleep. I won’t forget this. I won’t forget.
Tomorrow, you’ll scream and yell when I want you to eat pasta sauce with your pasta. And you’ll grin to make it okay, and it will be okay, because that’s how it goes. There will be banana in your yogurt, and a couple of chocolate chips at the bottom, that you scoop up with surprise. It’s the largest smile I ever saw. Tomorrow you’ll forget this. But I won’t.
By summer, you’ll be riding a bike. And you’ll be reading. And pony tails will look okay on you, and people will even say you have long hair – it never occurred to me that someone so young could have long hair. You won’t fall on the sidewalk once this summer. You won’t once come home with your knees ripped up, needing a band-aid and some ice cream. You’ll have forgotten that that ever happened to you. But I won’t. I won’t.
Next year you’ll be in school. Away from the home half a day a week, stranded with your teachers. You’ll scream, won’t you, on the first day; or maybe like your brother you’ll surprise me and just go. Maybe you’ll come back for a hug or a kiss. Or maybe you’ll forget, because you’re excited, and you’ll just go. This time I won’t come after you. This time I’ll let you go.
In two years, you won’t sit on my knee. You won’t play with my ear. But I hope you’ll still listen to music with me. And walk the forest trails listening for every bear and wolf. And by then maybe you’ll be playing the piano a little bit, likely better than me. And by then you’ll have forgotten this night. And the dreams. And that I showed you what fog looks like in January, how thin it is hovering above the last of the snow piles. You’ll forget. I know you will. And that’s okay. That’s okay. Because I never will.