Sign me up, I’d think, watching you cross the kitchen in your bare feet. Watching you pull a t-shirt over your head. Watching you root around for a yogurt (blueberry). Watching you check your pockets. Watching you kick it into drive. Watching you reach for my hand.
In truth, I wasn’t always happy when I was with you. (This seems silly now.) Remember when the tears would come faster than you could brush them away? Remember tugging me in close and raining kisses all over my cheeks? Mopping as you went. I loved that. Did I ever tell you? A thousand moments I took for granted — mostly because I assumed there would be a thousand more. (I should probably invest in my own mop.)
I still firmly believe that if you’re going to cry, you must have someone there who can make you feel like you’re not, in fact, in danger of drowning. You’re just gently overflowing, and you’re not a very pretty crier, but you’re loved to pieces anyway, and what do you mean, what snot situation. And sweet pea, stop, we just got you dry!!
Of course, if you can’t arrange for someone to be there, you can make backup arrangements. You can, and you should. With the help of a few friends, I’ve gotten really good at this.
You don’t have to put on a brave face here either. You can be your messiest self. This is one of the nice things.
But perhaps you want something warm. I’ve got just the thing.
You loved cheese, too. Not the fancy kind. The deli kind, just like my dad. You loved peanut butter, too — straight off the spoon.
You kept a jar of Skippy on your bedside table, right next to a framed picture of us. I agonized over that engraving. Too sappy? Too serious? Too shiny? Too soon?
I become such a monster when I miss you.