I finish reading Trey his bedtime story, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish and he smiles and says “That’s a silly book! Look! A white fish, too!” I tuck him in, tell him to have sweet dreams and give him a kiss on the forehead. “Huggy?” He asks, pouting out his lower lip. I give him extra tight hugs and squeezes.
“I love you, buddy,” I tell him.
“I love you, Sammy,” he says, snuggling deeper in his blankets. “Tell Daddy to come here please.”
I smile. “Okay, baby.”
“Leave the door open!” He says.
Of course I do.
David and I meet in the hallway as he comes out of Chloe’s room. I give him a hug and he kisses the top of my head. I say “Trey wants you” at the same time he says “Chloe-Belle wants you.”
I take a mental polaroid of this moment and tuck it into the safety of my memory box. Remember, remember, remember.
Chloe begged and begged to spend the night with my brother and sister-in-law a few weekends ago. We promised her that the next night, she could, but we wanted to make sure she knew we were too far away to pick her up if she wanted to come home.
“Are you sure, Chloe?” David asked. “Sometimes it’s hard spending the night with people you’ve never stayed with before. We’re too far to pick you up if you get nervous.”
“Why would I get nervous?” She asked.
“I mean, if you get homesick or something. Or if you’re uncomfortable,” David replied.
“Why would I be uncomfortable? They’re my aunt and uncle! I’m comfortable with my family,” she said.
Take that all you people who say my family’s not as important because we’re not blood-related to Chloe and Trey. Take that.
“Okay guys, I’m planning a surprise for lunch! Stay in your rooms until I say to come out,” I told Chloe and Trey. I quickly packed a jug of tea, two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a bag of Goldfish crackers and some chocolate. I stole a blanket from the living room and waited at the front door before calling for the kids.
“Are we having a PICNIC?!” Chloe screamed.
“Yes! Let’s go eat lunch under those trees!” I said.
“YOU’RE THE BEST!” They both yelled, wrapping themselves around my legs.
We spent a few hours under the shade of two big trees by our fence eating lunch, reading Robin Hood and filling an old pasta jar with “flowers”. They even laid down to take naps in the grass! It was probably one of the best days we ever had and, all I could think as I stared at the sky was Remember, remember, remember.
Trey has been asking for a “power four-wheeler” for months. Basically, he wants a real four-wheeler that’s his size. I thought he was too young for one, but David told me he’s going to talk to Santa because he thinks Trey’s ready for one. Last year, Santa brought Trey a “four wheeler” with the rechargeable battery, but the battery’s constantly dying.
“Sammy,” Trey said in the car, “I really want a power four-wheeler.”
“I know you do, baby, but you already have one.”
“Yeah, but… I was thinking… if Santa brings me one, can I give that one away? Like to a kid who doesn’t have one?”
Remember, remember, remember.
For months, Chloe has been asking for an iPod for Christmas. We’ve continually told her we don’t think she’s old enough for one and we’d rather she play with toys and use her imagination than games on the iPod. She’s stubbornly refused to add anything else to her Christmas list until a few days ago.
“Sammy, I want an American Girl doll,” she told me.
I couldn’t run to the computer fast enough.
I adore those dolls, adore the company and spent many happy hours playing with my own American Girl doll and Bitty Baby. All of the little accessories make my heart go pitter-patter and oh, how happy I am that she wants one.
She now wants Caroline, the doll that grew up during the War of 1812, but originally, she wanted one that looked like her. “And I want her to have a horse, a wheelchair… and crutches.”
Remember, remember, remember.