I would not, could not

They are just things – like a drugstore notebook with half of the pages torn out – until, without my knowing it, they are claimed by these moments I am not content just remembering; I want to hold them. And not in my heart, I mean in my hands. Like a drugstore notebook with half of the pages torn out and the other half filled with the time and duration of my contractions, first in my handwriting and then in David’s, on the days before Alice was born.

Sweet Alice who brings the slightly paradoxical challenge of so much more sentiment and so much more stuff.

Months ago, the mobile that used to hang over her crib fell apart. She had begun to lose interest, so we didn’t replace it or even try to fix it. I threw most of the pieces away but kept the part that makes the music.

I found it again this afternoon while cleaning out her dresser (The pile of things that do not fit Alice anymore will never shrink), wound it up and handed it to her.

At one time, that sound was both comfort and marvel to her – before she had words for either. It’s too much to try to remember who we were before we knew who we were. But we can wind it up and listen and try to imagine, I guess.

Alice likes music, so she smiled.

I managed to stack up some of the toys  she has outgrown – to give away or to store. But before I could carry them to the basement, she got to the stack and took it apart and played again with everything.

OK. We can keep them out a while longer.

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