There have been a few very specific moments in my life where I can remember, even at a very young age, thinking, “I need to freeze this.” I need to freeze how I feel and put it somewhere deep inside me forever.
The first time I ever did this, I was 5 years old and it was the day of my very first gymnastics meet. We were at the swimming pool, and I had about an hour before we were going to leave and go get ready for the meet. I was in a lawn chair beside the pool and beads of water were beginning to slowly dry up from the hot sun blazing down on me. Not a cloud in the sky. I can remember looking down at my toes, dangling over the edge of the chair, and thinking, “I want to remember this moment for the rest of my life.” I wanted to remember the nerves, the excitement, the pride. I wanted to freeze a piece of it and carry it always.
I have had countless memories just like that since then. A few days ago, I was outside on the porch in the hammock with Ainsleigh. Aiden was beside me laughing and Apple was in a peaceful slumber. The hammock was swinging and the warm Texas sun was gleaming behind Ainsleigh’s head. She was holding on with her arms around my neck and was smiling ear to ear. Dimples showing, happiness abounding. This was a moment.
I need this one to go on the shelf. It deserves a spot among the other feelings, memories, and images captured. I want to remember everything about this. I want to remember how I felt as a mom to them now. And what their spirits exude at this particular age. In this particular moment. I want to bottle up my love for them. Their sweetness.
This was a forever feeling.