As I was un-decking my halls on a very bitter winter day I picked up the silvery blue Christmas bulb with a picture of my eldest at 3 months old. His scrumptious little face peered back at me with intense blue eyes and pouty lips. I pressed the small round button fixed at the top and out came a tiny yet husky voice of Adrian at the age of 19 months.
19 months. Way back when I said his age in months.
"Ho..ho..hoooo" a tinny, sweet and short melody that made nostalgia at it's best bloom in the pit of my belly.
My heart knocked slowly, dimly at an unopened door.
I stopped and listened to it once again.
After forlornly placing it back in it's box I could hear the sounds of pounding little feet and big-little boy voices casting spells on each other as they ran up and down and around the house with brightly coloured plastic drumsticks in hand as their wands.
I tell myself this so many times daily.
And yet my heart knocked again against an unknown door.
For years from now the echoes of those little boys voices will quiet to a brief brush of a whisper.
As they ran down the stairs past me I called out,
"What?" there was a slight tone of annoyance in my eldest's voice, the tiny huskiness still present but mostly gone.
I caught his still so soft, still bright eyed innocent, open face in my hands. His eyes, so like my own, searched mine calmly while his body itched, still ready to play.
"I love you." I kissed each of their soft cheeks. The tips of their button noses. And returned to smooching their cheeks. I smothered their faces in kisses. Too many, perhaps, for their liking.
His reply, "I know you do." He hopped down from the stairs upon which we stood.
My little one was in full sprint passed me already but he called out behind him, "I knew you would say that!"
And I suppose...that's all I really needed to know.