You hold my hand and we skip together in the sunshine, giggling. I’m not allowed to walk the wrong way over the arrows on the footpath, I have to follow your lead. We stop to look at a butterfly and to peer into the heart of a rose. You smell my arm, one sniff along the entire length of it, ‘Mummy you smell of chocolate and rosies, rosies are my favourite flower’. The rowan tree, we have wondered at for weeks as it nurtures its fruit, is laden with plump red berries and you ask how it can hold them all and whether it has fingers. And my heart is aching.
You hang your bag on the peg by the door, turn your face up for a kiss and race through the little gate. I can’t help myself and I peep around the door frame to watch. You grab the leaf with your name on and slap it on to the ‘Who’s here today’ tree and I grin as you confidently plonk yourself down hugging the gifts we chose so carefully, bursting to share them. You are grinning widely and are instantly surrounded by people who know your name.
When I return to collect you I bring your siblings with me and you run into their arms for cuddles as I say goodbye to the people who have cared for you for precious pockets of time. I hold back my tears because you are happy-go-lucky-pleased-to-see-you-what’s-goodbye-can-I-have-a-piggy-back-and-what’s-for-tea-and-look-what-I-made and my tears would confuse you.
At home on the peg in the cupboard under the stairs there is a red bag waiting. In the basket in my bedroom ready for your name are little formal trousers, no character socks and button you up shirts. I cry so hard snot comes out.
Yesterday I lost a little piece of you. I wrapped myself up in the misery of change. I felt the goodbye in my heart. The sadness. The missing you. But then, today, I watch you watching a butterfly. You ask me what a skeleton is for. You want to make rainbows and to bake supper biscuits. You sit on my lap and pinch my toast. You wrap your arms round my middle and giggle when your fingers touch behind me. You make dens and play cars and I see you.
Lost, one pre-school boy. Found, one boy. My boy. Still you. Still chasing dust in a sunbeam. Still wondering. Still a bit mad, making me laugh. Still with your hand in mine.
This post was written because I needed to. It was also written for Josie’s Writing Workshop at Sleep Is For The Week, I chose the prompt ‘Found‘ . Go and have a look at some of the other entries or have a go yourself!