We spent sunset at the beach. Memories of sand and waves and squeals of delight are filling my soul as the three of us enter the front door, my husband staying out to catch up on a little work.
I suddenly realize no one has had dinner.
I scrounge the fridge. I find a ready made quiche which “could” be microwaved.
The three of us are sitting around our tiny little bistro table, delighting in this microwave blasted crust and eggs deliciousness. The conversation takes a turn to belly buttons. With two toddlers, I never question our topics of choice.
“Why do we have a belly button, mom?”
I am suddenly explaining the miracle called the “umbilical chord” to two pairs of wide eyed fascination.
Excited chatter has erupted, Boston delving into deep detail about this newfound information, Pierce chiming in his own two cents, “Me in belly! Momma eat! Me in belly! Momma, eat to me!”
Boston suddenly stops talking. She is simply sitting, quietly… “But Mom, why do we STILL have a belly button?”
“To always remember we are connected together. That no matter where you go, a part of me will be there with you.”
It just comes out. I don’t think deep about my answer. Only after the words escape my lips do I realize what I just said…
It will be my forever answer.
They will not be with me for long. Oh, how I know this! They will grow up, they will move on. They will find themselves with careers, families, lives of their own, pursuing their dreams and passions.
But when they cry, I cry. When they laugh, I laugh. When they dance, I leap with them, and when they buckle over with pain, mine runs much deeper still. It matters not if they are two or thirty two.
They are mine. A part of me forever. They have a belly button to prove it. To prove that no matter where they go, a piece of me will always be there with them.
Nothing in life can truly separate us.
The conversation fades. I realize we have eaten the entire pie. The three of us climb into my bed, each child resting in the crook of my arm. I hear their breath fall into precious sleep together. And tonight we are as close as life will ever bring us.
But I am no longer scared about tomorrow. Because in this moment I realize how intertwined we are.
They wear my mark on their rounded bellies.
My soul breathes easy tonight.