Your gurgling laugh echoes in the hallway and your pattering footsteps follow next.They fall gently upon the wooden floorboards, like the soft drizzling rain. You laugh, and a smile tugs at the ends of my lips.
Mambu was your first attempt at calling me Mama. You got it right eventually, which made me feel bittersweet. Mambu will always, secretly, be my favorite word.
For you, learning the alphabet came as naturally as crawling. On the first day you were starting with Z; the very next day, you had it all down. Me and Dad thought you were an alphabet prodigy!
Your smile is like the sun, warm and bright. It is the best remedy for anything. Even if you did break my favorite porcelain flower pot. One smile and I decided I didn’t quite like it as much anymore.
“I’m leaving, Mom.”
The finality and determination in your voice squeezed my heart as hot tears rolled down my cheeks. We knew this day would come, a day when you went out to the world and learnt how to fend for yourself. A day when our little one would grow up and gain the independence we always hoped you would. But it was all too fast. How had all these years passed by in a blink of an eye?
“Okay,” my voice shook as the words formed in my mouth. It took all the courage and strength I had to keep my composure. I wanted to say no, you aren’t going anywhere; I wanted to keep you safe and sound for as long as I could.
“I love you Mom.”
I know little one, I love you too.