One day my daughter won’t automatically reach for my hand as we walk down the street.
One day she won’t smile up at me as we walk, with a sweetness that takes my breath away, and say ‘I love you all around the world, Mummy, and back again.’
One day she won’t say sweetly, ‘can we drink our tea at the same time Mummy? Can I do it at the same time as you?’
One day she won’t come running into the bedroom in the morning, accompanied by all her cuddly toys, line them up on the pillow, and jump straight into bed, her tiny wriggling body warming mine.
One day she won’t come and find me in the middle of some nights, creeping quietly across the foot of the bed so as not to disturb, her hand finding mine as she slides under the duvet.
One day she won’t race over to me to show me the latest picture she’s drawn or sentences she’s written or card she’s made, with an immense, beaming pride.
One day I won’t be able to watch her line up her cuddly toys and talk to them, scoldinglyly and fondly: ‘It’s bedtime now Elsa! Yes, I know you don’t want to go to bed, but really it’s time you did.’
One day she won’t sit for hours at her little table, constructing birds and birds’ nests and cats and dogs and horses and people and seas and boats and houses, talking herself absorbedly through each one, her little face intent and furrowed in concentration.
One day my son won’t creep down the stairs after he’s gone to bed, padding on silent feet into the living room and throwing himself upon me ‘just for a cuddle.’
One day he won’t come to find me to tell me about the chapter he’s just read, his words falling over with each other in his excitement to tell me all about it.
One day he won’t glance up from his Lego, be delighted to catch my eye, and tell me in minute, occasionally excruciating detail about the game he’s playing while I watch him, suffused by wonder that I made him from scratch.
One day he won’t stop still in the middle of the floor of Waterstones to read the book I’ve just bought, and when I tell him we have to move, say ‘but I just want to read this next bit!’
One day he won’t ask ‘is it still the school holidays today?’ and when I tell him yes, beam with delight because ‘we get to spend all day with you again Mummy.’
One day he won’t be endlessly interested in castles and Romans and Robin Hood and his best day out won’t be to a castle with his parents; he won’t look up his dad telling him some random facts with a face full of awe.
One day I won’t be able to cuddle them close whenever I like, delighting in each one of their small perfect bones.
One day I won’t be the most important person in their worlds. And so I take these moments and try to capture them, glowing like stars in the dark.
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