To Aussie, and Walnut.

by

Something switched this evening. It started innocently enough.

Earlier in the day, Aussie had said, ‘But they aren’t really babies anymore, are they?’ We looked in silence at our children.

As the afternoon sun began to turn golden and then pink, we continued to sit in the lounge, talking about our days at Day Job, the lazy afternoons in the pub, pregnancy, etc. We laughed about her first visit up to see Snort and Coconut, her belly so swollen with the baby that would turn into the little boy dancing around with my children.

My eyes filled with tears.

It had been an afternoon of poop, of bumped heads, of macaroni thrown across the room. We sat as afternoon changed to evening, both reluctant to stop talking.

She was right. They aren’t baby babies anymore, not any of them. Not the three children standing around the play kitchen, seriously stirring things and puttting lids on pots. Not the three children poking each others’ bellies.

The tears began to spill; I felt unaccountably sad.

And then it all switched.

Neither of us had noticed when all three kids, so close in age they may as well be triplets, wandered as a pack into Snort and Coconut’s bedroom. But we noticed what happened next.

Little baby (sigh, no, little children) squeals of delight, periods of booming belly laughs. We locked eyes. We stopped talking and started listening. Seconds of laughter stretched into minutes stretched into forever.

‘If we go try to watch them,’ I whispered, ‘it will stop their fun.’

So we did the hardest thing, we sat back and let our babies go. They turned into children who chased each other up and down the hall, into children who bounced on the beds, into children with breathless laughter and happy exhaustion.

We sat. We listened.

‘It’s the next generation of you and me,’ I said.

‘My god, you’re right.’ We both smiled.

Our friendship has blossomed in the unlikeliest of ways. Both of us lived as far apart on the globe as you can imagine, both of us came to inhibit this small country so very far from our family and friends. We have the accents of outsiders, yet are united in the many cultural commonalities our home countries share.

We have become family, and we have become mothers.

Mothers of small children who inexplicably seem to be passing an empty  milk container back and forth. Mothers of small children who spent 45 minutes playing – without any toys. Mothers who are friends, friends who listen and long and yet somehow, somehow, the sheer beauty of the evening makes us feel that little bit more aged, more beautiful, more lucky. More at peace.

Friends who are mothers of small children who become babies again as they toddle into the room, just to check we’re still here, the world is still functioning properly. Mothers who smile at these babies who become small children as they say ‘bye bye’, waving to us as they back out of the room, shutting the baby gate behind them, running down the hall.

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2 Responses to “To Aussie, and Walnut.”

  1. Katie B. Says:

    They’re not infants anymore, but they’re still babies. Beautiful, loving babies. 🙂

  2. Natasha Says:

    Beautiful. This brought tears to my eyes.

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