It’s hard to write when arms and legs flop round me, stretching in their delicious sleep, drawn to my body like magnets. For years, they have found me in the night, barely breathing, spent from the day’s activities. My love always found them in the darkness and took control. It still does. It turns my body towards them and makes room, giving them permission to climb up and crawl over my barely conscious body into my warm place. Tiny feet curl into the heat of me and delicate fingers lose their way in my hair. The feet are not so tiny now and the stretch of them is longer but they still stumble into me, seeking love and safety beyond all measure.
I don’t want to write any more. I want to be the strength of my love supporting them as they rest against me now. I want to empty my mind and fill it up with their peaceful dreamy faces as they rise and fall against my heart beat. I want to feel the warmth of their balmy breath kissing my skin. All too soon, change will come, like it did before, and steal them from the shelter of my wings. My love will want to try to stop it all. It will scream and reach out to fix it all back into place, exactly how it was but change never comes without company. His old friend, time, will come too. Like a thief in the night, it will creep up gradually and steal us away from each other. So I want to make the most of it, while they are here and with me now, before it is all just a memory, before change comes and turns my unconditional love into an overwhelming sense of missing.
I know what missing feels like. It feels hallow, like someone took a great big ugly knife and carved out the middle of me. It feels cruel. It feels too soon. I can still hear his heartbeat next to mine when life gifted him to me. I remember those early years when his sleepy voice demanded I count his fingers at 5am. How he hungered to know where the stars came from and why they didn’t fall out of the sky. I remember telling him, “Some do, like you… falling straight into my arms.”
I am blessed. Three stars fell right into me, lighting me up, filling my world with hugs and stories and precious moments. With my eyes shut tight, I hold on to two of them and send a telepathic hug through a sleepy Saturday morning, over the tops of the Donegal hills and down the other side, across the border to wrap my boy up in my love. When he comes, that’s what he does. He wraps his love around us all. In the early night, while the little ones are asleep, he peeks into my bedroom, just to check if I am still awake. Lying sprawled, on the top of my duvet, he shares his dreams with me. In the morning, he finds us all snuggled up. We make room and he squeezes in, tucking his head under my wing. Arms and legs, and smiles tangled up in a floppy kind of love.